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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 23rd (All times Eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (23-10-2) at San Jose Sharks (22-8-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks aim to post their first winning streak in three weeks on Monday night as they welcome the Colorado Avalanche to town.

The Sharks had lost six of their previous eight before coming back to win a 3-2 shootout decision over the Dallas Stars. Joe Thornton had the lone goal of the tiebreaker in the fifth round and backup goaltender Alex Stalock did his part after making a career-high 44 saves through overtime.

Stalock was making his first appearance in a game since Dec. 6 as he gave No. 1 netminder Antti Niemi a rare breather. Stalock is 4-1-0 with a 2.02 goals against average and .936 save percentage in seven games this season, including five starts.

"I think any goalie will tell you that with more shots it's a little easier to get more comfortable in the nets," Stalock told NHL.com. "You don't have to really think about what's coming next. This way it's back and forth. Their guy is getting tested and then they're coming down to our end. It's a little easier to get into it."

San Jose trailed 2-0 early in the second period, but got a goal apiece from Jason Demers (second period) and Joe Pavelski (third period) to tie the contest.

The Sharks next look to post back-to-back victories for the first time since a six-game tear from Nov. 21-Dec. 3. They will do so without rookie forward Tomas Hertl, who did not play on Saturday and is expected to miss at least a month with a knee injury suffered on Thursday versus Los Angeles.

Hertl has 15 goals and 25 points in 35 games this season.

The Avalanche also rallied to get to a shootout on Saturday, but ended up losing a 3-2 decision to the Kings.

Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar had the lone shootout tally as Colorado's Matt Duchene, PA Parenteau and Ryan O'Reilly all came up empty on their chances.

Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves to keep Colorado in the game. Erik Johnson scored a power-play tally with 5:58 to go in the second period and O'Reilly added a goal on the man advantage with 9:33 left in the third period to erase a 2-0 deficit.

"I thought we showed a lot of character, being down 2-0. We had a big break on that power play and you see how important it is to score on a power play," noted Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy. "I thought it was a big point for us, no doubt about it."

Colorado is 3-1-2 in its last six games.

Duchene assisted on both goals and has logged four goals and 12 points over his last six games.

The Sharks are 10-0-4 in their last 14 versus the Avalanche since their last regulation defeat in this series on Oct. 1, 2009 in Colorado.

The Avs have lost 10 straight in San Jose, where they have not won since Feb. 6, 2008.

12/23 11:00:39 ET

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Final
CAR 5
PIT 2
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WISC 79
UNC 72
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9:45pm Tonight
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NYY 5
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TOR 4
PHI 1
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CIN 13
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LOS 9
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MIL 15
SEA 1
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ARI 3
SDP 3
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WAS 3
NYM 8
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CHC 4
ANA 8
Final
TEX 6
COL 3
Final
SFG 4
OAK 6
1:05pm Today
ATL
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
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NYM
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
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MIN
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1:05pm Today
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BAL
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1:07pm Today
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4:05pm Today
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4:10pm Today
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6:05pm Tonight
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9:05pm Tonight
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10:05pm Tonight
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MIL 111
IND 107
7:00pm Tonight
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ORL
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7:30pm Tonight
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9:00pm Tonight
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PHO
POR
 
Final
ND 81
WICHS 70
Final
WISC 79
UNC 72
Final
LALAF 82
EVAN 89
Final
KENT 78
WVU 39
Final
ARZ 68
XAV 60
7:15pm Tonight
GONZ
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7:37pm Tonight
LOU
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9:45pm Tonight
DUKE
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10:00pm Tonight
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KSU
 
10:07pm Tonight
OKLA
MSU
 
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BOS 2
ANA 3
Final
BUF 3
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LOS 3
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WAS 3
NJD 2
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CAR 5
PIT 2
Final
TOR 1
FLA 4
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SJS 6
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MON 2
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VAN 1
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8:00pm Tonight
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8:30pm Tonight
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9:30pm Tonight
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