MacKinnon gets hat trick, Avalanche beat Sharks 6-3
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Nathan MacKinnon had been struggling the past month putting the puck in the net. This time, even a length-of-the-ice shot bounced his way.
MacKinnon scored twice on power plays and added an empty-net goal, Carl Soderberg and Blake Comeau also scored on power plays and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Sharks 6-3 on Monday night to end a 13-game losing streak in San Jose.
''It's funny how it works,'' MacKinnon said. ''I was in a tough slump, I think 14 games. They come in bunches sometimes.''
Matt Duchene also scored, and the Avalanche won their fourth straight on the road to improve to 6-1-1 over their last eight games.
''We have so many different options,'' MacKinnon said of the power play. ''They were all of a different variety.''
Patrick Marleau, Melker Karlsson and Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks. San Jose owns the worst home record in the league at 4-10 and has lost four straight at home and seven of eight.
''Our penalty kill lacked attention to detail tonight,'' Sharks center Tommy Wingels said. ''Beside the penalty kill aspect, we had some energy. But if you take too many penalties, you get burned.''
Colorado's Calvin Pickard stopped 35 shots for his first decision of the season and his first win in over a year. Martin Jones saved 20 of 25 for the Sharks.
''It was not an easy task but it's nice when your team scores six goals for you,'' Pickard said. ''It gives you some breathing room. I was able to get into it early.''
The Sharks had the first nine shots on goal and Pickard was up to the task. The Sharks took four penalties in the first period and the Avalanche took advantage.
''When you take tripping, hooking or holding penalties, to me, you're not moving your feet,'' Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. ''I liked the way we started. The penalties took us out of the game. They were making plays through us and their goalie was better than us, too. That's a bad formula.''
The Sharks allowed a power-play goal for the first time in eight games and had not given up more than two in a game prior to Colorado scoring four. The Avalanche had not scored more than one power-play goal in a game since opening the season with two each in the first two games.
''Calvin made some great saves early in the game and we were able to play with the lead,'' Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. ''When you can go 4 of 6 on the power play and 3 of 3 on penalty kills, that's what you want on the road.''
MacKinnon opened the scoring midway through the first period, the beneficiary of some nice passing from Jarome Iginla and Soderberg. Colorado scored first for the 10th consecutive game.
Marleau evened the game less than 2 minutes later when Joel Ward intercepted a pass and fed Marleau in front of the net.
Soderberg added a goal late in the first period for the winner.
Duchene ended a four-game scoreless streak, matching his longest of the season, with his goal midway through the second period.
NOTES: Avalanche D Nate Guenin missed his second straight game. ... Ward returned to action after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. ... San Jose C Joe Thornton had an assist and has points in six straight. ... The Avalanche return home to host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. ... The Sharks host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.