SAN JOSE, Calif. – Andre Burakovsky scored 41 seconds into overtime and the Colorado Avalanche gained ground in the race for first place in the West Division by rallying past the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on Monday night.
“It was a really big one at the end here,” Burakovsky said. “We want to be in first place. This was a must win for us ... Even though we were down there was no doubt. We just found a way to get it done. It was fun to play and fun to watch.”
Martin Jones got a piece of Burakovsky’s shot but it trickled past him into the net for the game-winner.
Colorado scored three times in the third period to overcome a pair of two-goal deficits and got the tying goal from Nazim Kadri with 3:39 to play.
“I loved our response in the third period,” coach Jared Bednar said. “Just the heightened sense of urgency and a little bit of desperation in our game.”
Mikko Rantanen scored his 29th goal of the season and Valeri Nichushkin and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for the Avalanche. Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves.
Colorado moved within two points of first-place Vegas with a game in hand after the Golden Knights lost 6-5 to Minnesota.
Evander Kane scored twice and Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier also scored for San Jose. Jones made 26 saves.
The Sharks lost for the 11th time in 13 games and were officially eliminated from playoff contention. This is the third time in franchise history that they missed playoffs in back-to-back years, also doing it in 1992 and ‘93, and in 1996 and ‘97.
“You don’t flip things around in this league in six months or eight months or 10 months. It takes time,” coach Bob Boughner said. “There’s some pain involved in that and some growing to do. That’s where we’re at. ... It’s a little disappointing not to be in the playoffs. But we know what the big picture looks like and where we’re going.”
San Jose appeared in control after scoring twice in the second period to take a 3-1 lead. But Nichushkin scored early in the period to make it a one-goal game and Landeskog made it 4-3 after Meier scored for San Jose.
A turnover by Brent Burns set up Kadri’s game-tying goal that ended a 19-game stretch without a goal and then Burakovsky won it in overtime.
“It’s tough to see the way that game ended,” Boughner said. “I thought we should have been celebrating two points tonight.”
FLIP THE SCRIPTThe Avalanche came into the game with a league-best goal differential in the second period of plus-33. But the Sharks dominated the frame with Hertl scoring off a turnover and Kane on a breakaway. San Jose outshot Colorado 13-2 in the period, holding the Avalanche to their fewest shots in any period since they had one in the second period against St. Louis on Oct. 21, 2019.
COVID-19 LISTAvalanche backup goalie Devan Dubnyk was added to the COVID-19 list before the game after testing positive. Dubnyk will quarantine for two weeks at his house in the San Jose area that he still has after being traded from the Sharks last month. Jonas Johansson suited up as the backup goalie. Grubauer returned after missing more than two weeks on the COVID-19 list last week for Colorado.
UP NEXTThe teams finish the season series on Wednesday in San Jose. Colorado is 6-1 in the season series including three in a stretch of four in a row against the Sharks.