Rantanen scores twice as Avalanche blank Sharks 4-0
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Mikko Rantanen scored twice and had two assists as the Colorado Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks 4-0 on Wednesday night.
Philipp Grubauer made 26 saves for his 14th career shutout, helping the Avalanche get payback for a 6-2 loss Monday night in San Jose.
Gabriel Landeskog added a goal and three assists for Colorado, which went 3-1 on its road trip and pulled into a three-way tie for third place in the West Division with Minnesota.
“Obviously we weren’t happy with the way we played game one (Monday), and we wanted to come back and feel like we responded and played our best game,” Landeskog said.
Martin Jones stopped 34 shots for San Jose and was particularly sharp in the first two periods, giving up just one goal. But the Sharks were outshot 38-26 and got bottled up after they’d scored six goals in back-to-back games.
“When you play a team that is so dangerous there, you’ve got to get them out of our ‘D’ zone and get them into their ‘D’ zone, and I don’t think we did it enough,” Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said.
Rantanen snapped a scoreless tie with 5:36 left in the second period, when he took a pass from Nathan MacKinnon and whipped a one-timer past Jones just inside the right post.
Samuel Girard gave Colorado breathing room roughly six minutes into the third, firing a slap shot that beat Jones to the glove side and made it 2-0.
The game got ugly eight minutes into the third, when San Jose’s Joachim Blichfeld was given a match penalty after a check to the head on MacKinnon. Landeskog took advantage with a power-play goal shortly afterward, and it’s possible Blichfeld will receive a suspension.
“I hope the league takes a look at it and gives some penalty for that,” Rantanen said.
Rantanen added his team-leading 10th goal to make it 4-0.
ROAD TO RECOVERY
Sharks center Tomas Hertl has experienced symptoms since being sidelined with COVID-19, but coach Bob Boughner told reporters Hertl seems to be doing better. Hertl went on the COVID-19 list Feb. 24, and the earliest he could return is March 12 at Anaheim.
Colorado played without defensemen Cale Makar and Bo Byram, who both missed their second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Makar is the more likely of the two to possibly return Friday against Anaheim.
After going 10 games in a row without a goal, Landeskog has goals in three consecutive games.
“You start going five, six games and it gets a little bit mental,” he said. “ It was just nice to end that streak and kind of turn the page.”
Avalanche: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Friday to begin a nine-game homestand.
Sharks: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, the sixth game of an eight-game homestand.
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