A quirk in the schedule has the Colorado Avalanche about to make their only visit of the season to Northern California — and perhaps not a moment too soon for the San Jose Sharks.
Looking to end a late-season swoon Ronald Jones II Youth Jersey , San Jose will try to extend its dominance on home ice over playoff-hopeful Colorado on Thursday night.
The Sharks’ losing streak reached four after falling 4-2 to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. San Jose gave up three goals in the final 5:17 and managed one shot on goal in the third period.
“Tough lesson learned, but we still control our own destiny,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.
San Jose (44-26-10) is second in the Pacific, one point over Anaheim and two ahead of Los Angeles. The Sharks, who have lost twice in overtime to the Wild this season, meet them in the season finale on Saturday at SAP Center.
Anaheim clinched a spot by beating the Wild on Wednesday, while Los Angeles clinched when St. Louis lost 4-3 to Chicago on Wednesday.
San Jose winger Logan Couture, who scored his team-high 33rd goal against the Stars, told the league’s official website that team must find a way to win again.
“We’re fighting for home ice in the first round here. We have to dial it up. You can’t coast for very long in the NHL and win hockey games,” he said.
San Jose has dropped both matchups with Colorado in Denver this season, but it’s been a much different story when the teams meet in the Bay Area.
The Sharks have won 15 of the last 16 matchups dating back to March 2009. San Jose has been held to fewer than three goals twice, while Colorado has scored one goal or fewer 10 times in those contests.
Martin Jones has two wins — but he also has the only loss — in that span versus the Avs. He also stopped only 34 of 41 shots in this season’s series. Jones Harold Landry Youth Jersey , who still needs one win to reach 30 for the third time with San Jose, has been reached for 10 goals while losing three straight starts.
Backup Aaron Dell has never faced Colorado, which fell to 1-3-1 in its last five games with a 3-1 loss to Los Angeles on Monday.
“Our mindset is we’re underdogs. We go out there, and we’re having fun. We have a young team, but there are still no excuses. We should be in this playoff spot, and we should be in the playoffs.” Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov said.
Colorado (42-29-9) holds a one-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card in the Western Conference. With one playoff spot up for grabs, the Avs and St. Louis each have two games left — and close the regular season against each other Saturday in Denver.
Saturday’s game will likely decide the final playoff spot. St. Louis plays at Chicago on Friday.
“We cannot control what the Blues did or what they are going to do later. We got one game against them, we got a game in San Jose. We need to focus, reload, and then go up there and win those two hockey games,” Zadorov added.
Jonathan Bernier has surrendered only four goals while beating the Sharks twice this season. Bernier, who’s taken over with Semyon Varlamov (knee) out for the season Mike Gesicki Dolphins Jersey , has won each of his last two starts in San Jose.
Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen are tied for the team lead with three points apiece against the Sharks this season.
MacKinnon, who leads the team with 94 points, needs two goals to reach 40 for the first time in his career. Rantanen is two goals shy of 30 for the season and 50 in his career.
DENVER — The surging San Francisco Giants open a three-game series Monday at Coors Field, where they have fared poorly. But ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who is in vintage form, will start against the Colorado Rockies in a sequel of sorts.
Bumgarner (1-2, 2.51) and Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (7-6, 3.29), who has been the Rockies’ best starter, opposed each other Wednesday at AT&T Park. Both starters pitched seven scoreless innings before the Giants won 1-0 on Brandon Crawford’s walk-off homer.
The Giants have lost 12 of their past 14 games at Coors Field. But they began their current road trip by sweeping three games at Arizona — their first sweep at Chase Field since September 2016 — giving the Giants (45-40) 10 wins in their past 12 games.
The Giants are 19-26 on the road, which is the second-worst road record in the National League. But they have won eight of their past 14 road games.
The Giants are tied for second in the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks. That is the closest the Giants have been to first place since June 10 John Ross Youth Jersey , when they were also 2 1/2 games behind.
The Giants got strong starts from Andrew Suarez and Dereck Rodriguez while beating the Diamondbacks 2-1 and 7-0 and overcame a poor start by Derek Holland to win the series finale, 9-6.
“These are big games for us, for sure,” Giants catcher Buster Posey said after Saturday’s win. “I think we all collectively know we’ve got to play better on the road. … We go to Denver, where we haven’t played well the past couple of years. It’s a matter of keeping our focus and executing.”
Bumgarner’s execution has been uncommonly good lately.
He has a string of 16 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to June 16 against the Dodgers at Los Angeles. He then worked eight scoreless innings June 21 against San Diego and limited the Rockies to two hits Wednesday in seven innings.
That gave Bumgarner back-to-back scoreless outings of at least seven innings for the first time in his career. In 27 starts in his career, Bumgarner is 12-7 with a 2.92 ERA against the Rockies.
At Coors Field, he is 5-5 with an ERA of 4.00 in 13 starts. He hasn’t pitched in Colorado since 2016.
This is the second season in the majors for Freeland, who is 4-2 with an ERA of 2.61 in seven starts against the Giants. He’s 2-0 in three starts against them this year.
Freeland has allowed three or fewer runs in 11 starts and four runs in the other. In six starts at Coors Field this year, Freeland is 4-2, 2.95.
Freeland held the Giants to four singles Wednesday, and registered 12 ground-ball outs.
Bumgarner gave up a single and a double, allowed one runner to reach third base and struck out eight (six swinging). Freeland threw 104 pitches Cheap Lamar Jackson Jersey , 67 for strikes. Bumgarner finished with 101 pitches, 66 strikes.
“It was a great matchup between two lefties, one just starting his career and getting his feet on the ground, and Bumgarner obviously we know what he’s done in his career,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “It was impressive from Kyle in terms of the changeup usage, keeping the ball down, enough inside to keep the righties honest, changing speeds, sinking the ball.”
The Rockies (41-43) dropped two of three at San Francisco but then won two of three at Los Angeles, ending a 3-3 road trip with a 6-4 loss Sunday that kept them six games behind Arizona.
The Rockies are 26-21 on the road, but their 15-22 home record is the second-worst in the NL.
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