Night to forget for McGinn, Avs

Night to forget for McGinn, Avs
March 27, 2012, 4:45 pm
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SAN JOSE Jamie McGinn has already had several memorable nights as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.

Last night in San Jose is one hed like to forget.

McGinn as well as his linemates, Paul Stastny and David Jones finished scoreless with a -4 rating in Colorados playoff bubble-busting 5-1 loss to the Sharks. McGinn had a team-high four shots on goal, tied with rookie Gabriel Landeskog, including one that Antti Niemi was forced to make a good glove save on in the first period when the game was scoreless. But it was all downhill from there.

RECAP: Sharks leap to third in West with win over Avs

His disappointment was evident from his postgame comments.

They jumped on our mistakes. Niemi played good and we had some chances we didnt bury on, McGinn said. Just from our line, we were minus-four; it was a tough night for us. We need to rebound again in Vancouver and just forget about this one."

I was excited. Its a fun building to play in, a lot of energy. The fans are great. Its tough to comment now, after losing 5-1 to an old team. You never want that, you want to be on the winning side, so its pretty frustrating right now.

Avs head coach Joe Sacco didnt hide from criticizing his team.

I dont think we were the better team tonight. I think weve been playing very well lately, but I think tonight, they outplayed us in more periods of the game, Sacco said.

The Avalanche arent quite dead in the water just yet, as losses by Los Angeles and Dallas were just as welcomed by them as they were by the Sharks. Still, checking the latest math, Colorado has just a 12.1 percent chance of making it to the postseason while the Sharks improved to 79.1 percent, according to sportsclubstats.com.

More praise for the vets: Sharks coach Todd McLellan has said numerous times over his teams 6-2-1 stretch that hes pleased with the way his veteran leaders are handling the team. He mentioned it after the Phoenix game, when the Sharks surrendered a late first period goal and one early in the second to fall behind, and again after the win over Colorado last night.

I really liked the poise of our leaders on the bench tonight. They were saying the right things, there was a calmness, and thats a good sign for us, said the coach. Now, weve got to continue to play well and put points in the bank, and that leadership will be important in the next six games.

Keeping an even keel despite re-taking the Pacific Division lead will be paramount.

That doesnt matter right now. We arent going to fall into that trap, said Joe Pavelski, who had two goals against Colorado. The next game is really important for us, and you see how fast it happens. It goes both ways, and weve been on each side of things. Its going to be important guys stay focused and stay in the process of things.

The Sharks visit the Ducks on Wednesday and Coyotes on Thursday.

Boyle reaches 500: Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle recorded his 500th career NHL point with his assist on Joe Pavelskis goal early in the second period. It didnt take long for him to get his 501st, getting another secondary assist on Andrew Desjardins marker less than six minutes later.

The mark is noteworthy in that Boyle is only the fourth undrafted defenseman in league history to reach 500. The others are probably guys youve heard of: Borje Salming (787), Steve Duchesne (752), and Brian Rafalski (515).

Boyle is ninth in the NHL in scoring by a defenseman this season with 44 points (7g, 37a). His 37 assists are tied for fourth among blueliners.

Early empty-netter: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ryane Clowes empty net goal at 16:23 of the third period to go was the earliest such goal in Sharks franchise history. Sacco pulled Semyon Varlamov with about four minutes to go in regulation and his team down, 4-1.

The previous mark was at 17:38 of the third period by Patrick Marleau on Jan. 24, 2006 vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

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