Logan Couture Hat Trick Gives Sharks Crucial Game 3 Win vs Avalanche

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 1, 2019

DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 30: Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks scores a goal past Cale Makar #8 and goalie Philipp Grubauer #31 of the Colorado Avalanche in Game Three of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on April 30, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Logan Couture netted a hat trick as the San Jose Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 in Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference second-round playoff series Tuesday.

Couture scored the game-winner with 7:10 remaining in the third and added an insurance empty-netter with a half-minute remaining to give his team the two-goal win:

x - San Jose Sharks @SanJoseSharks

That's 2️⃣ for Couture tonight! #PlayoffMode https://t.co/AZwc6pJsbL

Sharks on NBCS @NBCSSharks


Per Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, Couture has scored 43 postseason goals since 2010, the second-most in the league behind only Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Ovechkin's 50.

Sharks right wing Timo Meier added one goal and two assists. Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Nieto each scored for the Avalanche, who trail the Sharks 2-1 in their best-of-seven matchup.

Couture can't be stopped this postseason, as he now has nine goals in 10 games and seven in his past six.

Former Mercury News sports columnist Mark Purdy summed up Couture's performance well:

Mark Purdy @MercPurdy

Logan Couture has balls the size of hot air balloons. (Said after three beers, but still . . . )

Couture's resounding playoff dominance may be a good omen for the Sharks. He was near-unstoppable in 2015-16 as well during a year where he had 10 goals and 20 assists in 24 postseason games during the Sharks' run to the 2016 Stanley Cup.

The 30-year-old center opened the scoring off a rebound and proceeded to give a bow to the opposing crowd:

Sharks on NBCS @NBCSSharks

Take a bow Juicy. #SJSharks https://t.co/YE2u5lEgcA

That set off a dominant opening period for the Sharks, who led 2-0 going into the second period.

San Jose played well but also took advantage of Avalanche turnovers: Meier chipped in the second goal after intercepting a neutral-zone pass and taking care of business himself:

Sharks on NBCS @NBCSSharks

It is no longer Mountain Daylight Time in Denver it is now #TimoTime. Adjust your clocks accordingly. https://t.co/wNBdajNvI9

The Sharks could have been up even more for numerous reasons, including a missed breakaway chance and a handful of shots that hit the post:

Kevin Kurz @KKurzNHL

Looming large right now is that Evander Kane breakaway that would have made it 3-0. Still, Sharks are playing well (other than the power play). Just have to avoid those kinds of mistakes against the Avs’ best players

Brodie Brazil @BrodieNBCS

#SJSharks post count: Burns: 2 Vlasic: 1 Melker: 1

The Avs wouldn't go away, however, and pulled within one thanks to MacKinnon's goal off the rush:

x- Colorado Avalanche @Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon. SNIPE. #GoAvsGo https://t.co/l1bAhc3ozZ

The Point noted that MacKinnon has had far more opportunities off the rush than everyone else in the playoffs:

The Point @ThePointHockey

Nathan MacKinnon's 5th goal of the playoffs was scored in typical MacKinnon fashion - flying down the wing, top shelf. He's blowing everyone away when it comes to chances off-the-rush. #GoAvsGo #StanleyCup https://t.co/OCpYFS1WPU

That cut the lead in half, and Nieto tied things up thanks to his timely deflection off Samuel Girard's shot from the blue line:

NHL on NBC @NHLonNBCSports

TIE GAME! #SJSvsCOL here: https://t.co/TMToFGqgcC https://t.co/5xobPnavKo


The Avs didn't get to enjoy the tie for long, however, as Couture scored 1:05 later off a failed clear:

AJ Haefele @AJHaefele

Landeskog had gotten away with a couple of brutal failed clears in the game but San Jose made him pay for that one. Avs back to chasing the game again

Sharks goalie Martin Jones saved 25 Avs shots, and Colorado netminder Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 San Jose attempts.

Colorado will now host San Jose for Game 4 on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET. NBCSN will televise the game.