Both teams traded early shots and chances until midway through the 1st Period when Peter Forsberg (COL) snapped a wrist shot high glove side on Evgeni Nabokov to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead, their first lead against San Jose all year. However, on the next shift, Adam Graves (SJ) took the puck into the corner of Colorado's zone and passed across the goal crease to Vincent Damphousse, who buried a one-timer to tie the game at 1-1.
The Sharks and Avs continued to have a physical game in which shots on goal were limited. Joe Sakic (COL) then made a big hit in the neutral zone, took the puck, broke in and scored with less than one minute left in the 1st Period to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead that they took into the 1st Intermission.
Brad Stuart (SJ) broke in early but was unable to convert on a wrist shot, and Paul Kariya (COL) was also unable to convert on a breakaway in the Sharks' end of the ice. The Sharks and Avs traded chances until Scott Thornton (SJ) took a hooking penalty against Rob Blake (COL). On the ensuing powerplay, Blake then rung a shot off the post, and David Aebischer (COL) robbed Dan McGillis (SJ) with a sprawling glove save on a one-time shot from the slot.
Aebischer made a right pad save on a breakaway from Teemu Selanne (SJ) to keep the score 2-1 for Colorado. Then, with less than one minute left to go in the 2nd period, Adam Foot (COL) pinched in the Sharks' zone, played the puck to Rob Blake (COL) who got it towards the net, and Foote slipped the puck by Evgeni Nabokov to give the Avs a 3-1 lead in the game. Aebischer made an incredible pad save late in the 2nd period on Jonathan Cheechoo (SJ) to keep the score at 3-1 for Colorado.
The 3rd Period for the Sharks started with disaster, as Brad Stuart (SJ) mishandled a rebound on a shot from the lost and accidentally put the puck into his own net, giving the Avalanche a 4-1 lead (Dan Hinote was granted the goal for Colorado). This was the first time all year that the Sharks were behind in a game by 3 or more goals.
The Sharks continued to pressure the Avs goaltender, but Aebischer continued his strong play to maintain the three goal lead until Patrick Marleau (SJ) got behind the Avs defense and scored on the backhand to pull the Sharks to within 4-2 of the Avs, but that would remain the score until the final whistle. The Sharks outshot the Avs 21-18 in the contest, but Colorado will take a 1-0 lead in the series and give the Sharks their first home loss of the year. The following players were named the three stars of the game:
3) Joe Sakic (COL) registered 1 Goal, 0 Assists and +1
2) Vincent Damphousse (SJ) registered 1 Goal, 0 Assists and +1
1) Adam Foot (COL) registered 1 Goal, 0 Assists and +1
The Sharks suffered their first loss in over 70 games, and the Avalanche will take a 1-0 series lead into their next meeting at HP Pavilion, which is scheduled to be broadcast on Friday, June 5th at 7:00PM Pacific Standard Time: