Sharks top Avs without Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane

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SAN JOSE — With two key players sidelined by injury, the Sharks rolled out their playoff identity, opening their homestand with a crucial win.

Marcus Sorensen scored twice in his return to the lineup on Friday, propelling the Sharks to a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center as Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane missed the game with injuries.

Karlsson missed his 11th game since Jan. 19 with what appears to be a re-tweak of his groin injury. Kane also sat out of Friday’s game with an injury that head coach Pete DeBoer believes will be “short term.”

Still, the Sharks managed to end the Avalanche’s six-game point streak by holding their high-octane offense to 27 shots on goal.

With the win, the Sharks moved to within five points of the Calgary Flames for first place in the Pacific Division.

With Karlsson and Kane on the sidelines, Sorensen stepped up with a pair of goals to help the Sharks absorb the losses.

Sorensen opened the scoring just 4:18 into his first game back from an upper-body injury that sidelined him for two games on the Sharks recent four-game road trip. He scored his 12th after Brent Burns found him in the slot with a seam pass. Joe Thornton also picked up an assist on the goal.

The Swedish forward scored his 13th of the year at 19:36 of the second, swooping into the crease to tap the puck across the goal line after a Tomas Hertl shot went off the post, trickling into the blue paint. Kevin Labanc recorded the secondary assist. Sorensen missed the Sharks games against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday and the Boston Bruins on Tuesday after he suffered an injury from taking a puck to the face in Columbus on Feb. 23.

Timo Meier also got on the board for the Sharks, scoring his 22nd of the season at 2:35 of the middle frame with a shot off the rush. In doing so, Meier set a new career high for goals in a season with 22. Joe Pavelski earned an assist on the play.

Pavelski added an insurance goal at 12:39 of the third, making it 4-2 by scoring his 36th of the season on a Sharks power play. The Sharks captain one-timed a cross-ice pass from Kevin Labanc, who drew the defense toward him by with a drive to the net off the right point.

Nikita Zadorov scored the Avalanche’s first goal at 4:55 of the second, beating Martin Jones as he was screened by a pair of bodies in front. Mikko Rantanen added a second goal at 10:08 of the third, knocking in a bouncing puck on an Avalanche power play. Samuel Girard also found the scoresheet at 13:27 of the final stanza, blasting in a shot after he created space for himself with a spin-o-rama move.

Jones made 24 saves in the winning effort.

The Sharks will return to action at SAP Center on Sunday, playing the second game of a four-game homestand against the Chicago Blackhawks.

 

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