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Meier Sets Career-High, But Sharks Lose 4-2 in Mile High City

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Credit: NBC Sports California

The San Jose Sharks visit Ball Center at the back-end of a back-to-back. The Colorado Avalanche pelted San Jose in the first period, but Kaapo Kahkonen turned away every bid. Timo Meier got the Sharks on the board, Brent Burns added another goal, but Colorado edged San Jose 4-2.

Period 1

1 in: Pretty pass by Karlsson to Hertl there.

3 in: Meier trying to advance puck through NZ, but great job by Avs backcheckers to pressure him, Meier can’t dump it for Sharks speed to recover. Meier able to negotiate maze of Avs and get it deep, but it’s now with zero Sharks speed entering zone to recover. That’s good hockey team stuff.

Balcers with a great chance from Meloche. Balcers, demoted to the fourth line, needs to step it up, per Boughner.

8 left: Barabanov runs a smart pick on MacKinnon for Hertl, but Makar stays with Hertl, gets his stick in there. High-end hockey all-around started by a nifty Meier breakout pass.

4 left: MacKinnon just makes everybody look bad, Makar roams down his slot unchecked, what a save by Kahkonen! Megna maybe MacKinnon-watching too much, but poor backcheck from the Hertl line too. Actually, on re-watch, Megna is playing a 2-on-1 (Burns “has” MacKinnon), terrible effort by San Jose Sharks forwards on backcheck. There’s no Avs’ line chance, Sharks forwards are just smoked up the ice. I will say that the Hertl line was at the end of a very long shift (Meier 1:26). So I guess problem there is more that they were out too long, can’t do that against MacKinnon/Makar.

Casual. That’s how I’d describe Colorado’s 7-1 Slot Shots at Even Strength edge. Kahkonen has been terrific.

Period 2

Barabanov does good work along the wall there.

Good point by Bret Hedican, Chmelevski has to help his teammates out more. It’s the prior line’s responsibility to leave the puck in a good place for the next line. Then — I think that’s a goal by Newhook.

5 in: Again, Barabanov along the wall, keeps it alive. Then wraps it around.

What a save on Kadri by Kahkonen!

What a move by Barabanov on an otherwise lost PP. Merkley needs some separation gear in his skating, an extra half-step maybe. Before Barabanov’s move, Merkley made a great read at PP QB, didn’t drop, skated it in himself. But he couldn’t get away from PK’ers, so he was forced to make a soft, aimless pass into slot.

6 left: Nice curl back under duress by Barabanov to find Megna.

5 left: Balcers on it on the forecheck. That’s what he can do for you, what he should do for you on a nightly basis.

2 left: Rantanen gets away with an elbow on Bonino. The San Jose Sharks coaching staff should be livid about that, make sure the refs know for the final frame.

Period 3

1 in: Looked hairy at first, but Chmelevski does a good job of curling back in DZ, waiting for San Jose Sharks speed to build up.

2 in: Great patience by Merkley in high slot, cool with the puck, distributes it down low. Eventually Merkley at point gets it through, great chance and net front by Balcers.

Helm goal: Karlsson has been pretty bad last few games. It could be that adjustment to the left side — he’d have more time and space with puck (right-hander on right side has puck closer to wall). But regardless, if you’re going to try that soft play up the middle, it better work.

Burns goal: Nice pick by Barabanov on Sturm off faceoff. Gives Burns a little more time and space to fire away.

Burns, by the way, has eight goals. He hasn’t missed crossing double-digit goals in an 82-game season since 2009-10 (three goals in 47 games).

8 in: Another good little play by Barabanov. Loose puck, not a lot of good options, he makes the responsible move to just clear it up and out and almost makes a play at it too.

Rantanen goal: What a pass by Kadri through Karlsson’s wickets through royal road.

3 left: Nifty NZ work by Barabanov and entry. Did Rantanen catch Barabanov in the head? A little cheap-looking there.

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