SAN JOSE, Calif. - Evgeni Nabokov cared about points in the standings, not in style. “The most important thing is to get the win,” the San Jose goalie said.
“Sometimes it will be ugly. And tonight it was.” Alyn McCauley’s wrist shot with 4:13 left in the third period snapped a tie, and the Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-5 on Sunday night. Nabokov had missed five games with an abdominal strain and made the start ahead of Vesa Toskala. Nabokov gave up five goals on 29 shots but earned his first win since Feb. 1. “I felt OK,” he said. “It took about five or 10 minutes for me to get into the game.” The Sharks earned 11 of 12 points on their six-game homestand and got back into the Western Conference playoff race. Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj allowed four goals in the first 21:44 of the game. He had 27 saves. “It was one of those nights,” Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. “A lot of goals went in for both teams. Every chance seemed to go in. Eleven goals is a lot of goals.” Colorado had tied the game at 5-5 when John-Michael Liles sent a shot from inside the blue line between Nabokov’s pads with 9:31 remaining. Patrick Marleau scored two power-play goals for the Sharks and recorded his 400th NHL point. The Avalanche trailed 4-1 in the second period, but two goals by Ian Laperriere and another from Milan Hejduk put Colorado back in the game. Joe Sakic earned his 901st assist on Laperriere’s second goal to tie Bryan Trottier for 15th on the NHL career list. Sakic, who has 1,467 points, is now tied with Stan Mikita for 11th on NHL all-time points list. Alex Tanguay, Colorado’s leading scorer, injured his knee in the first period and didn’t return.