The Avalanche keeps battling attrition, and attrition keeps winning.
After the Avs lost in overtime to Anaheim on Sunday, there was unspoken team sentiment of "at least we didn't lose anybody to injuries, for a change." That turned out not to be true, as leading scorer Matt Duchene entered Tuesday bothered a groin problem that proved too much to overcome and play with against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion.
A team that already has had enough problems scoring goals lately wasn't helped by his absence, but the Avs hung tough and got a great game from their fourth line to salvage a point in a game that ended in a 3-2 shootout loss.
Patrick Marleau's goal on the fourth attempt of the shootout was the game-winner for the Sharks.
It went to the fourth attempt after P.A. Parenteau tied it on the Avs' third attempt in the shootout. But John Mitchell could not answer Marleau's goal, and Colorado lost.
Mark Olver's goal with 3:16 left in regulation sent the game to overtime for the Avs, when it appeared they were about out of gas. Olver's bang-bang, second-effort goal withstood video review, and the Avs held on in the final minute of a Sharks power play in regulation to get a point.
The Avs put in a worthy effort, but just didn't have the horses to keep pace with the Sharks through most of regulation, but the fourth line and goalie Semyon Varlamov kept them in it.
"I don't care how many saves I make (39), I didn't make enough of them to win," Varlamov said.
On a night when Colorado needed its top offensive players to give a little more in Duchene's absence, it got goose eggs from top-liners Paul Stastny, David Jones, Gabe Landeskog and Jamie McGinn.
The game was made more painful by the fact that ex-Av TJ Galiardi scored a go-ahead goal in the second period — his first goal of the season and only his second in 26 games as a Shark.


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