DENVER (AP) – Matt Duchene pounced on a loose puck just in time to turn it into a game-winning goal.
Duchene corralled a deflection from teammate P.A. Parenteau’s desperation, long-distance shot and scored his second goal of the night as time was about to expire in overtime, lifting the Colorado Avalanche over the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Sunday to stretch their home winning streak to a season-high five games.
“It feels awesome. I didn’t think it was going to count,” Duchene said. “Obviously, you’re really excited at first but you’re holding back a bit in case it doesn’t count.”
Officials upheld the goal after a replay review showed Duchene got the shot past goalie Antti Niemi an instant before time would have run out in the extra period.
“The puck was sitting there,” Duchene said. “I just reached in and tried to club at it. I got underneath it, and it was able to go over his shoulder. It was a pretty ugly goal, but we’ll take it, that’s for sure.”
Niemi said he didn’t doubt the goal beat the clock.
“I thought it was a good goal,” he said. “I heard the horn. Made it by quite a bit.”
The decisive sequence began when Parenteau, seeing the clock ticking down to a couple of seconds, launched a slap shot from inside the blue line that ricocheted off San Jose’s Joe Pavelski.
“I was aware of the time. That’s why I took the slap shot,” Parenteau said. “Otherwise, I would have taken it in myself. Everything worked out. We couldn’t come up with a regulation win, but we’ll take the two points and we’re back to .500 now.”
Patrick Marleau scored San Jose’s first goal, the 400th of his career. Logan Couture tied the score 2-all at 16:35 of the third when he followed a turnover by Colorado with a slap shot that got past goalie Semyon Varlamov.
“Tough way to lose,” said Joe Thornton, who assisted on Couture’s goal. “We had the good effort. It was unfortunate to lose on a bounce like that.”
Ryan O’Reilly also scored in a second straight game for the Avalanche, who beat the Sharks for the first time in the third and final meeting between the teams during the NHL’s lockout-shortened season.
Duchene, who matched a career high with four points in Friday night’s 6-2 win over Chicago that stopped the Blackhawks’ record season-opening points streak at 24 games, got Colorado on the board at 6:47 of the first period. With the Avalanche on a power play, Parenteau sent a pass across the crease through traffic that reached Duchene, and he lifted the puck over Niemi’s right shoulder for his 10th of the season.
Midway through the second, the Avalanche killed off a San Jose power play with the help of some tenacious goaltending by Varlamov. The Sharks peppered Colorado’s netminder with seven shots over the 2-minute power play but he turned the flurry away with an array of glove, stick, kick and body saves.
Less than a minute later, right wing Aaron Palushaj led a 2-on-1 rush before centering a pass to the streaking O’Reilly, who knocked the puck into the net past Niemi on his glove side at 6:58.
San Jose pulled within a goal at 19:20 of the second when Marleau redirected a shot from Justin Braun past the surprised Varlamov.
NOTES: With an assist on Duchene’s first-period goal, Parenteau extended his career-high points streak to six games. … The Sharks won the two previous meetings between the teams, one of which went to a shootout. … Marleau leads the Sharks with 13 goals this season. … The next assist by Colorado’s Chuck Kobasew will be the 100th of his career.
By DENNIS GEORGATOS, Associated Press
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