San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Ryane Clowe scored the only goal of the shootout to lift San Jose to a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche at the Shark Tank.
Joe Thornton's 16th goal of the season late in regulation tied the game for streaking San Jose, which rallied for its seventh consecutive victory and will continue its six-game homestand on Thursday against Detroit.
Antti Niemi finished with 18 saves for the Sharks, who increased their lead atop the Pacific Division to four points over Phoenix.
"Even though we might be losing, we feel like at any point we could break through and grab a game," Thornton said. "That's been the case here for a long time, maybe the last four or five weeks, we've been playing some real good hockey."
Erik Johnson scored an unassisted goal for the Avalanche, who are winless in their last four (0-3-1) and have recorded only one victory over their last 15 games overall.
"It's almost laughable at this point," said Colorado forward Matt Duchene. "We work that hard, we play that well. With a team with that much offense and that many guys having great seasons, we hold them to no goals with four minutes left, and they find some way to score. That's pretty frustrating."
Colorado goaltender Brian Elliott turned aside 34 shots.
After two scoreless periods, the visitors opened a 1-0 lead 1:18 into the third stanza. Skating on the power play, Johnson's wrist shot from the high left slot made its way through traffic -- including Duchene's partial screen in front with his stick -- and past Niemi.
Elliott and the Avs were several minutes away from a shutout, but the Sharks knotted the score with 2:58 remaining in regulation. Jason Demers released a shot from the right point and Thornton's incredible deflection lit the lamp.
Thornton, facing away from the goal near the right post, tipped the puck -- which was headed wide of the net -- behind him and over Elliott's shoulder.
Neither team found the back of the net in overtime but Clowe lit the lamp as the first skater in the shootout. Niemi then stopped all three Avalanche shooters -- Milan Hejduk, Duchene and David Jones -- for the win.
Earlier Tuesday, the Sharks signed Niemi to a four-year contract extension...Elliott stopped both Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski, the other two San Jose shooters...Colorado was 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Sharks ended scoreless on all four of their chances with the extra skater...The Avs are now winless in their last six games in San Jose...Attendance was 17,562.