Avalanche, Sharks go back-and-forth before Colorado wins in a shootout

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The Avalanche was 1:31 away from a regulation win, but after surrendering the tying goal and surviving the ups and downs of three-on-three OT, Colorado emerged victorious in the shootout over the San Jose Sharks.

Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene scored in the skills competition to help the Avalanche earn an important 4-3 victory in the Western Conference Wild Card race.

The Avs now move four points clear of the Minnesota Wild for the final Wild Card spot. The Sharks, meanwhile, move within four points of the L.A. Kings for the lead in the Pacific Division.

The Sharks took the lead on Nick Spaling‘s first goal for San Jose in his debut with his new team. The Avalanche countered on a Shawn Matthias goal, as he scored in his debut with Colorado.

Back and forth the two teams went again in the third period, with San Jose taking the lead and surrendering it again before Joel Ward‘s tying goal courtesy a perfect Joe Thornton pass in the final minutes sent the game to overtime.

Calvin Pickard, getting the start over Semyon Varlamov (flu), made 30 saves and two more in the shootout to earn the win.