Avalanche Sharks Hockey

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) skates against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Gabriel Landeskog scored 15 seconds into a power play the Avalanche paid for, and Colorado went on to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-0.

Joachim Blichfeld knocked Nathan MacKinnon out of the game in the third period Wednesday night. Eight minutes in, Blichfeld came through the neutral zone just as the star forward turned. He caught MacKinnon on the lower half of his face with a shoulder. A review confirmed the match penalty for a hit to the head, and the league could hand out more discipline.

MacKinnon shook his head and talked with a trainer before heading to the locker room. A scrum ensued before Landeskog struck the Sharks another way.

“We responded well by scoring on the power play,” Landeskog said. “That’s really all you can do, and keep playing hard, and we did that and finished out the game.”

Landeskog said it seemed like his longtime linemate was “doing OK.” Coach Jared Bednar said he saw MacKinnon in the hallway and echoed that assessment. MacKinnon will continue to be evaluated.

Mikko Rantanen scored twice. On the first goal, he was poised and ready to one-time a MacKinnon feed through the legs of Evander Kane and under the glove of Martin Jones. His second made the score 4-0.

Landeskog (1 goal, 3 assists) and Rantanen (2 goals, 2 assists) had busy nights following a team meeting that seemed to play a part in setting the team right after a 6-2 collapse against the Sharks on Monday. San Jose is seventh of eight teams in the West Division.

“They were the guys - as it should be - who had the most to say about our team in our meeting,” Bednar said of Landeskog, Rantanen and MacKinnon. “When you are talking about certain things and addressing our team as leaders, the biggest thing is you’ve got to go out and put your money where your mouth is.

“I believe that they did that.”

Philipp Grubauer (22 saves) got some help from the goalpost in securing his third shutout of the season. A shot went off the iron and bounced right to him, all with his back to the unfolding situation.

Samuel Girard lobbed a long shot on Jones right off a faceoff to make it 2-0 5:29 into the third period. The defenseman has goals in consecutive games.

Jones made 23 saves.

“We’re happy with the way we responded tonight and we’ll rest up and get ready for this weekend,” Landeskog said.

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