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National Hockey League
Preview
Colorado at San Jose
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California


The San Jose Sharks finally return home after a seven-game road trip but their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread as they prepare to host the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. The Sharks, who have not missed the postseason since 2002-03, went 3-3-1 on their two-week trek to leave them seven points out of the second wild card in the Western Conference and eight points out of third place in the Pacific Division. "We're not out of it yet, still not out of it," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said.

The Avalanche are in even worse shape than the Sharks, sitting eight points behind Winnipeg following its second loss to lowly Edmonton in six days. Colorado won six of its first seven in March to boost its playoff hopes but Monday's 4-1 home loss to the Oilers was a staggering blow with a three-game California road trip looming. "We are going to believe in ourselves until it's over," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "It's the way I am. I like to think the players will do the same."

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (35-29-12): Defenseman Erik Johnson skated Monday and there was hope he could return to the lineup for the first time since undergoing minor knee surgery in late January, but he has not been cleared to play and will not accompany the team on the road trip. Backup goaltender Reto Berra, who made 33 saves in a 4-1 victory at Vancouver on Thursday in his first start in four months, will be in net against San Jose. Ryan O'Reilly had Colorado's lone goal against Edmonton and has tallied five times during a career-high eight-game point streak.

ABOUT THE SHARKS (37-30-9): Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic will sit out his second game in a row due to a lower-body injury and No. 1 netminder Antti Niemi is still battling a cold, so McLellan said he is leaning toward giving Alex Stalock a third consecutive start. Stalock, who has also been fighting a cough, is 2-0-1 with four goals allowed in his last three starts after surrendering 13 tallies in his previous three outings. Logan Couture has three goals and six points over his last six games and is three points shy of matching his career-best total of 65 (2011-12).

OVERTIME

1. The Sharks have won 12 straight regular-season home games against the Avalanche.

2. Berra is 0-1-1 with a 4.20 goals-against average in two starts versus San Jose.

3. Sharks D Brent Burns has points in four straight games and seven of eight.

PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Avalanche 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Colorado 35-29-8-4 L1 20-15-2-1 15-14-6-3 4-1-1-0 31-28-7-4 11-12-3-1
San Jose 37-30-3-6 L1 17-16-2-3 20-14-1-3 4-4-0-0 33-26-3-6 13-9-2-2
Last Meeting
Colorado San Jose
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
10/28/14 SJ 3 (SO) COL 2 33 49 0-3 51 31 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Colorado J. Hejda 2
San Jose J. Braun 1
Goals Player  
Colorado G. Landeskog 1
San Jose B. Burns 1
Assists Player  
Colorado J. Hejda 2
San Jose J. Braun 1
Saves Player  
Colorado S. Varlamov 49
San Jose A. Niemi 31
Season
Total Points Player  
Colorado J. Iginla 56
San Jose J. Pavelski 73
Goals Player  
Colorado J. Iginla 26
San Jose J. Pavelski 38
Assists Player  
Colorado T. Barrie 39
San Jose J. Thornton 48
Saves Player  
Colorado S. Varlamov 1601
San Jose A. Niemi 1649
Quickchart Matchup
Colorado Off vs  San Jose Def
2.59 GF
2.75 GA
28.5 Shots
29.9 Shots
33 PP
43 PK
San Jose Off vs  Colorado Def
2.74 GF
2.75 GA
31.3 Shots
33.1 Shots
51 PP
36 PK