Sharks fall to Avalanche, 3-0

By Curtis Pashelka
The Mercury News/TNS

Devan Dubnyk gave his team every chance to beat the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night but didn’t get anything in terms of offensive support.

Dubnyk made 28 straight saves before the Avalanche scored twice in under two minutes in the third period to hand the Sharks 3-0 loss and sweep the two game series at Ball Arena.

Nazem Kadri scored at the 9:55 mark of the third period and Andre Burakovsky added an insurance goal just 1:58 later as the Sharks lost consecutive games for the first time this season. San Jose is now off for three days before they are scheduled to play the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday in Glendale, Arizona.

Dubnyk finished with 35 saves as the Avalanche outshot the Sharks 38-21. San Jose was shut out for the first time this season.

Dubnyk helped keep the score 0-0 after two periods, making 18 saves through 40 minutes, including six on three Avalanche power plays.

Dubnyk was making his third start of the season as he entered Thursday’s game with an 0-2-0 record and an .894 save percentage. Tuesday, Dubnyk came in relief of Martin Jones, who allowed five goals in the first 25 minutes and  47 seconds before he was pulled. Dubnyk made 21 saves in relief in a 7-3 Sharks loss.

Sharks coach Bob Boughner is starting to look for one of his goalies to take charge of the net, saying Tuesday that Dubnyk “is a guy that deserves some more time. We’ve had some good goalie performances throughout the first few games here, but I think we need the one guy to step up and make it so hard that you can’t take him out for the next game.

“It’s consistency — nothing different than the rest of our game. We’re still searching for consistency throughout our lineup.”

Thursday’s game was tied 0-0 after the first period as the Sharks missed an opportunity to take an early lead, going 0-for-3 on the power play with two shots on goal. The Sharks entered Thursday on an 1-for-19 skid with the man advantage, which started with their Jan. 20 game with the St. Louis Blues.

Avalanche center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was injured in the first period. Near the Sharks’ blue line

Roughly 30 minutes before the start of their game with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, the Sharks, through a team spokesman, announced that Sasha Chmelevski would not be playing because of a “roster issue with the taxi squad.”

Sharks coach Bob Boughner said Thursday morning that Chmelevski, who had been on the taxi squad since the start of the season, would be in the lineup against the Avalanche and make his NHL debut. Chmelevski, 21, was going to center the Sharks’ fourth line with Patrick Marleau and Stefan Noesen as his wingers.

Instead, with Chmelevski out, Marcus Sorensen, who was supposed to be a healthy scratch, drew back into Thursday’s lineup and played on the line with Marleau and Noesen. John Leonard, without a point in his last six games, was a healthy scratch.

Marleau, 41, reached his own milestone Thursday as he dressed in his 1,731st career game, tying him with Ron Francis for fourth on the NHL’s all-time games played list. Francis played for four teams over 23 seasons, was a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Chmelevski was set to become the fourth Sharks player to make his NHL debut this season, joining Leonard and Fredrik Handemark and defenseman Nicolas Meloche.