San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture (39) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) battle for the puck as the San Jose Sharks team watches from the bench during the first period of Game 4 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (Photo by Kelsey Brunner/The Gazette)

DENVER - It was much more than an assist.

Up by a goal and down by a game in the series, the Avalanche took to the power play in the third period Thursday.

Colorado flung it around, back and forth across the ice, until Mikko Rantanen took a shot, and when that didn’t work out, he flicked it backward under his legs to Colin Wilson.

“It wasn’t a pretty play before that,” Rantanen said. “I saw out of the corner of my eye that (Wilson) was back door and just tried to slide it there.”

Wilson buried it and the Avalanche closed out Game 4, earning a 3-0 victory. The series is tied at 2 headed back to San Jose.

Philipp Grubauer finished with 32 saves for his first career playoff shutout as the Avs responded after a demoralizing Game 3 loss at home, which they tied late and then let get away from them.

“It brings the team together again,” Rantanen said. “Obviously when you lose in the playoffs, it feels like the end of the world.”

The Avalanche had their feet under them in the second period but couldn’t find the net. Nathan MacKinnon put a tricky move on Brent Burns and Carl Soderberg was on the receiving end of a 2-on-1, but goaltender Martin Jones appeared both times.

“We were really good on the forecheck today. We were on them,” Grubauer said.

On a play that looked far less threatening midway through the second period, the Avalanche broke through. Cale Makar took the initial shot, Rantanen redirected it, and Jones made the save off his neck. But MacKinnon batted the rebound in as the Sharks converged on him.

It wasn’t his prettiest of the playoffs, but his coach appreciated that.

“The fact that we were willing to go to those hard areas...that’s good for us, I like it,” Jared Bednar said.

MacKinnon has a point in every playoff game since the very first one in Calgary (6 goals, 7 assists). The eight-game streak is tied for the third-longest postseason streak in team history. He has two more to go to match Joe Sakic’s longest ever, which came in 1996.

Erik Johnson sent a bouncing puck the full length of the ice for an empty-netter.

The Sharks offered up several more power-play opportunities late in the third period, but nothing came of them. The Avs power play is 2-for-14 through the series.

“Power plays are having a tough time in this series,” Bednar said.

The chances and possession were relatively even in a scoreless first period. Grubauer was called on to make back-to-back-to-back saves - through traffic, off a no-look pass to a trailer, on a point-blank second chance - to keep it even. Jones then robbed the Avs at the other end.

Game 5 is Saturday in San Jose. Each of the four series Colorado has played against San Jose has gone to at least six games, and another is now assured.

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