Marcus Sorensen scored two goals in his return to the lineup from an injury and Joe Pavelski added his 36th goal of the season to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.
Sorensen missed the final two games of San Jose’s road trip after taking a puck to the face last Saturday at Columbus, but thrived on a line with newly acquired Gustav Nyquist and Joe Thornton for his first multigoal game of his career. He opened the scoring early in the first and added another in the closing minute of the second period.
Timo Meier also scored and Martin Jones made 24 saves for the Sharks, who began a stretch of 12 home games in the final 18 regular contests on a winning note.
Nikita Zadorov, Mikko Rantanen and Samuel Girard scored for the Avalanche, who had their six-game point streak snapped. Gabriel Landeskog added three assists.
Colorado missed a chance to move into the wild-card lead in the Western Conference. The Avalanche are tied with Dallas and Minnesota for the final two playoff spots in the conference, but have played one more game than those teams.
The Sharks took control with a dominant stretch late in the second period that led to Sorensen’s second goal. They pinned Colorado into the defensive zone, preventing defensive pair Erik Johnson and Girard from getting off the ice for 3:27. The duo was gassed when Sorensen got position in front of the net to tap in a loose puck past Semyon Varlamov that gave San Jose a 3-1 lead.
Rantanen scored on the power play midway through the third to make it a one-goal game, but Pavelski answered on a power play for San Jose shortly after that to restore the two-goal margin.
Girard then scored with 6:33 remaining but Colorado couldn’t get the equalizer.
The Sharks took the lead less than five minutes into the game when Thornton won an offensive zone draw and Burns fed Sorensen in front of the net for the goal.
San Jose added to that lead early in the second when Meier beat Varlamov from the top of the circle on a rush.
But Colorado answered quickly after that with Zadorov’s shot through a screen from the point.
NOTES: Rantanen has points in six straight games. … The Sharks were without two key players with D Erik Karlsson once again sidelined by a groin injury he re-injured Tuesday in Boston and F Evander Kane out with an undisclosed injury sustained in that game. … Colorado D Ian Cole returned to the lineup after missing 11 games with a broken orbital bone around his left eye.
Colorado: Visit Anaheim on Sunday.
San Jose: Host Chicago on Sunday.