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Avalanche rout Sharks, 7-2

By Curtis Pashelka
The Mercury News/TNS

The Sharks didn’t stand a chance Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

Not after committing one defensive breakdown after another in the first two periods.

The Sharks allowed three goals in the first period and four more in the second as they were throttled 7-2 by the Avalanche in game one of their two-game series that continues Thursday at Ball Arena.

Goalie Martin Jones, making his second straight start and third in four games, was hung out to dry as the Avalanche scored five unanswered goals after Ryan Donato scored for San Jose at the 10:39 mark of the first period.

After Samuel Girard scored at the 5:48 mark of the second period to give the Avalanche a 5-1 lead, Jones was pulled in favor of Devan Dubnyk. Jones allowed five goals on 19 shots, but didn’t have much help in front of him.

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After Donato scored his third of the season, the Avalanche needed just 46 seconds near the end of the period to take a 2-1 lead.

Erik Johnson’s shot from the point was tipped by Donskoi at the 16:15 mark to tie the game 1-1. Colorado took the lead for good with 2:59 to go in the first, as Brandon Saad was left alone in front to tap a pass from Cale Makar past Jones for his second of the season. Makar drew both Dylan Gambrell and Timo Meier toward his before he found Saad.

The Avalanche finished the period with a power play goal. MacKinnon took a pass from Makar on the half-wall, darted toward the middle of the ice, eluded a stick check from Tomas Hertl and flipped a backhand pass to Mikko Rantanen, who one-timed it past Jones for a 3-1 lead.

Val Nichushkin gave the Avalanche a 4-1 lead with a shorthanded goal just 92 seconds into the second period. John Leonard had the puck on his stick but lost control in the neutral zone. With Nichushkin right there, he pounced on the puck and put a shot on goal, with the rebound off Jones going off Nichushkin and into the net.

Saad finished with two goals and Makar, skating against former UMass-Amherst teammates Leonard and Mario Ferraro, had three assists.

Logan Couture had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who still have not won consecutive games this season. Noah Gregor also scored for San Jose, his second goal in as many games. Dubnyk had 21 saves on 23 shots.