NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, November 17th (All times eastern)
San Jose Sharks (9-5-2) at Colorado Avalanche (9-7-1), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche aim to record back-to-back wins for the first time in over two weeks this evening when they host the San Jose Sharks, winners of a season-high three straight, at the Pepsi Center.
The Avalanche have alternated wins and losses over their past seven games and kicked off a three-game homestand on Monday with a 6-3 victory over the Blues. Defenseman John-Michael Liles notched two goals and an assist, while Paul Stastny finished with a goal and a helper.
Kevin Porter, Brandon Yip and David Jones also tallied for the Avalanche, who haven't posted two victories in a row since Oct. 28 and 30. Adam Foote notched an assist, his 254th point with Colorado that set a new club record by a defenseman.
"We got over aggressive out there early, but we managed to bounce back," Stastny said. "We got three on them, then they came back but we got two more. There was a ton of energy on the bench and that transferred onto the ice."
Peter Budaj made 27 saves in his ninth straight start in place of the injured Craig Anderson, who practiced in full on Tuesday for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Oct. 26. His return date is still unknown, meaning Budaj should be in net again tonight.
Anderson was in net when the Sharks posted a 4-2 victory over the Avalanche in Colorado on Oct. 21, making 33 saves.
Joe Pavelski scored a pair of power-play goals for the Sharks, who have won three of four and seven of their last nine versus the Avs. That includes a victory in four of their last six trips to the Pepsi Center.
The Sharks wrapped a five-game homestand on Monday, picking up a 6-3 victory over the Kings, the club's third straight that gave them a 4-0-1 mark on the residency.
Patrick Marleau had a goal and two assists, while Dany Heatley and Joe Pavelski contributed a goal and a helper each. Ryane Clowe, Torrey Mitchell and Scott Nichol also scored.
"[The Kings are] the big dogs, they're playing real well. They were the hottest team in the NHL," Nichol said. "It was nice for us to come in and play our style and have a big home win. We go on the road for a couple and we wanted to end our homestand with a win and we did."
Antero Niittymaki made 32 saves to earn the victory for San Jose, which is 3-3-0 on the road.
Defenseman Doug Murray missed the game with a lower-body injury suffered while blocking a shot on Saturday and is questionable for this game.
11/17 10:55:48 ET