Thu, May 02, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Couture scores three as Sharks beat Colorado 4-2

AP, DENVER, Colorado

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, face up, protects the puck from the Boston Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.

Photo: AP

Logan Couture on Tuesday scored three times, including the go-ahead goal with 7 minutes, 10 seconds remaining, as the San Jose Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semi-final series.

Couture sent a shot over the shoulder of Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer just 65 seconds after Matt Nieto tied the score, then sealed it on an empty-net goal with 29.5 seconds remaining.

Timo Meier also scored for the Sharks toward the end of the first period, taking advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone to give San Jose a two-goal lead.

It was Meier’s third goal of these playoffs after scoring 30 in the regular season.

Nathan MacKinnon had a short-handed goal and Nieto added another to help the Avalanche rebound from a 2-0 first-period deficit.

Nieto tied the score when Samuel Girard sent a shot at him, managing to tip it in while jumping in the air, but as the crowd was still buzzing, Couture made a nifty move to score and silence the building.

Couture has a playoff-leading nine goals, while MacKinnon has at least a point in seven straight post-season games.

Colorado once again teamed up a pair of 20-year-old defensemen in Cale Makar and Girard, whose combined age is only slightly greater than Sharks forward Joe Thornton, who turns 40 in July.

BLUE JACKETS 2, BRUINS 1

With Columbus holding on to a two-goal lead late in the second period, Boston’s Brad Marchand snapped a shot from the top of the left circle. The puck rebounded and trickled dangerously in the blue paint before Sergei Bobrovsky stretched out and swept it away with his glove.

Another big save for Bobrovsky, who has made a bunch of them in what has been an outstanding post-season so far.

He finished with 36 stops in the 2-1 win over Boston that gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Boone Jenner and Matt Duchene scored for the Blue Jackets, who won a second-round home game for first time in franchise history.

Tuukka Rask had 32 saves for Boston, whose only goal was a flukey one in the last minute of the second period.

“I thought we stayed together in the third period,” Bobrovsky said. “Obviously, they had a good push, we stood together, we worked for each other and we got rewarded.”

Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo predicted that the former Vezina Trophy would not be able to keep it up.

“The secondary saves that he’s making are very impressive, but he’s going to crack at some point,” Carlo said. “I have a lot of faith that we’re going to pucks past behind him pretty soon.”

The Blue Jackets struck late in the first period, when Jenner slid the puck past Rask on the glove side before the goalie could adjust.

With Zdeno Chara in the penalty box for high-sticking Jenner in the face, the Blue Jackets swarmed for an extended time in front of the Boston net before Duchene tapped in another goal with 7 minutes, 18 seconds left in the second.

Boston made it a one-goal game with 40 seconds left in the middle period when, in a knot of players in front the Columbus net, the puck trickled behind Bobrovsky and over the line.

The goal initially was waved off by an official, but a video review determined that play had not stopped before the puck slid in.

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