Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 1st
Game 2: Friday, October 30th
Game 3: Sunday, March 28th
Game 4: Sunday, April 4th

Avalanche 1

(10-2-2, 22 pts)

Sharks 3

(9-4-1, 19 pts)

10:30 PM ET, October 30, 2009

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
COL 0 0 11
SJ 0 1 23

R. Clowe (Sharks - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

P. Marleau (Sharks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

C. Anderson (Avalanche - G): Saves: 43, Save Pct.: .935

Avalanche-Sharks Preview


A Presidents' Trophy may not be out of the question for the Colorado Avalanche. They would just prefer not to suffer the same fate as the San Jose Sharks.

A surprising early season points leader, the Avalanche look to win their fifth straight as they visit the Sharks on Friday night.

After finishing last in the Western Conference for the first time since moving to Colorado in 1995, the Avalanche (10-1-2) made sweeping changes in the offseason and now lead the NHL with 22 points. Last season, Colorado had no chance of catching San Jose, which won the Presidents' Trophy but bowed out in the first round of the playoffs.

The Sharks (8-4-1) began this season with a 5-2 loss at Colorado but have won three straight and five of six.

Colorado has won four in a row and earned points in its last 10 games (8-0-2). The Avalanche improved to 6-1-2 on the road with a 3-2 win over Calgary on Wednesday night.

"There's a good feeling going on. The guys are pulling for each other. They're working hard," first-year coach Joe Sacco said. "The guys really believe they can win right now, doesn't matter if the situation is we're down 1-0 or 2-0, we have that feeling that we can come back at any time."

Sacco's up-tempo style appears to be suiting players such as Wojtek Wolski, who broke a tie at 5:31 of the third period versus the Flames to give him a team-high eight goals.

Wolski had two goals in a 3-0 win over Edmonton on Tuesday night and found the back of the net twice against the Sharks earlier this month. The Polish star had 14 goals in 78 games last season.

"A lot of hard work this summer," Wolski said. "With the season we had last year, I was so disappointed. Hitting rock bottom there, you tend to step back a little bit and assess how the season went and what you have to do to get ready for the next season."

San Jose's Ryane Clowe has yet to score a goal in regulation or overtime this season but had the shootout winner in a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

"I'm just happy to hit the back of the net," said Clowe, who had career highs of 22 goals and 30 assists last season. "It was good. Something like that will probably help give me more confidence. I put a lot of pressure on myself."

Clowe has gone 21 straight regular-season games without a goal, not counting shootouts. It's his longest drought since the first 21 games of his career.

Coach Todd McLellan tried to provide Clowe with a spark by putting him on the top line with Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley against the Kings.

Now, Clowe and San Jose will likely face Craig Anderson, who has started all 13 games in net for the Avalanche in his first season with the team after leaving Florida as a free agent. Anderson, who has two shutouts and a 1.97 goals-against average, is 1-3-0 with a 3.31 GAA in four games versus the Sharks.