The Colorado Avalanche failed to sweep the home-and-home series against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday by surrendering a third-period lead, losing, 5-4, on three unanswered goals in the period. The Avalanche opened the final frame with a 4-2 lead, but Semyon Varlamov allowed four three goals in a span of four and a half minutes. Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each tallied a goal against the Russian netminder.
The Sharks had started the game with a Ryane Clowe goal at 2:30 in the first period, but Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly put the Avalanche in the 2-1 lead by the end of the first period. After Michael Handzus tied the game at two at 1:12 in the second period, Stastny netted his second goal of the game less than two minutes later to regain the lead for the Avalanche. Daniel Winnik extended the lead to two goals at 18:21 in the period.
Varlamov made 29 saves on 34 shots while Antti Niemi blocked 23 shots on 27 shots. The Avalanche had declining shot totals in each period, starting at 11 and going down by two over each period.
The Avalanche (14-17-1, 29 points) host the Washington Capitals on Saturday.