The Colorado Avalanche rebounded from their Game 3 loss at home to shutout the San Jose Sharks and tie the series at Pepsi Center in Game 4. The offense returned and Philipp Grubauer had probably is best performance yet this postseason, receiving a star of the game for his efforts.
Both teams returned to San Jose yesterday in advance of tonight’s game. With the win, the Avs have ensured that they will play another game at home, with Game 6 being set for 8pm on Monday.
Nathan MacKinnon opening the scoring with a goal 10 minutes into the second period, which meant that he extended his points streak to eight games. In that span, he has 13 points, five of which have come in the first four games of this series.
The other two goals were scored by Colin Wilson, who scored his second goal of the series, and Erik Johnson, who scored his first goal of the series.
Matt Calvert came back after missing Game 3, and assisted on Johnson’s empty net goal. And of course, no game preview would be complete without Cale Makar, who received an assist on MacKinnon’s goal. The Makar-Girard line looks like a team of seasoned veterans, and shows no sign of their youth.
The one thing the Avs will need to be careful of tonight is their penalties, they gave the Sharks three power plays, but were able to prevent them from scoring. However, the Avs received six power plays and only scored on one.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Alexander Kerfoot
Colin Wilson - Carl Soderberg - Mikko Rantanen
Matt Calvert - J.T. Compher - Matt Nieto
Gabriel Bourque - Tyson Jost - Derick Brassard
Ian Cole - Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov - Tyson Barrie
Samuel Girard - Cale Makar
The Avs were able to control the Sharks offense on Thursday, despite them putting up a total of 32 shots, and having three power plays. Their 32 shots were five fewer than the 27 posted by the Avs.
The Sharks did give up six power plays, which is something they will be looking to reduce. The Avs only scored on one, but six opportunities, as compared to three, is still a lot.
They will be looking for their fourth home playoffs win, (three coming against the Las Vegas Golden Knights), especially after the Avs took Game 2 at the Shark Tank.
Timo Meier - Logan Couture - Gustav Nyquist
Evander Kane - Marcus Sorensen - Dylan Gambrell
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Barclay Goodrow
Lukas Radil - Kevin Labanc - Melker Karlsson
Marc-Édouard Vlasic - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan - Justin Braun
Philipp Grubauer recorded his first career playoff shutout, stopping all 32 saves from the Sharks. He also became the first German-born player to do so in the playoffs. Grubauer has started all nine of the Avs playoff games, but at this point, there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for him not to play. Yesterday’s day off was a travel day, but he should still be well-rested and ready to go tonight.
Martin Jones was 25-27 on Thursday, with the last Avs goal going into an empty net with 1:09 left in the game. He has played in all 11 of the Sharks games in the playoffs, only two more than Grubauer, but one starts to wonder if fatigue might be creeping in. However, he won two of his last three games at the Shark Tank, so the Avs will have to make sure he doesn’t feel too comfortable at home tonight.