Avalanche Plow Over Sharks


Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg never stop attacking. Even when they're killing penalties.

Sakic broke a tie midway through the third period with his fourth shorthanded goal in five games as the Colorado Avalanche beat the winless San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Thursday night.

"Peter and I were kidding around that we get more chances shorthanded than at even strength," Sakic said. "We read off each other pretty well and when we get the puck, we just go."

Sakic, who tied it at 2 with 3:02 remaining in the second period, beat Mike Vernon with a low wrist shot at 7:03 of the third period. Forsberg set up the goal after stealing the puck from San Jose's Jeff Friesen.

"You knew as the game went on Sakic and Forsberg would have an impact," San Jose coach Darryl Sutter said. "The strength of those those two guys' playing talent is their ability to steal pucks and score goals. Friesen turned it over and they made him pay. Simple as that."

Colorado coach Bob Hartley agreed.

"They are two of the best players in the NHL at handling the puck," Hartley said. "Players know that if they mess up, Sakic or Forsberg are going to be right up in their face and make them pay."

Friesen didn't make any excuses.

"I turned the puck over," he said. "My fault."

Rene Corbet opened the scoring on a power play at 12:54 of the first period, his first goal since April 2. Stephane Yelle added a goal with 6:35 left in the third period for the Avalanche.

Craig Billington, making his second start of the season in place of Patrick Roy, made 21 saves.

Dave Lowry and Andrei Zyuzin scored for San Jose (0-6-2). The Sharks are off to their worst start since going 0-7-4 in 1995-96.

"We ought to be panicking," Lowry said. "We haven't scored more than two goals in a game in our last six games and have to play almost flawless defensive hockey."

San Jose goalie Mike Vernon, 0-5-1 this season and 14-7-1 lifetime against the Avalanche, made 26 saves.

The Sharks played most of the game without Bernie Nicholls, who left at 4:14 of the first period because of a deep cut over his right eye.

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