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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
The Avs wouldn't go away, however, and pulled within one thanks to MacKinnon's goal off the rush:
The Point noted that MacKinnon has had far more opportunities off the rush than everyone else in the playoffs:
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:
The Avs didn't get to enjoy the tie for long, however, as Couture scored 1:05 later off a failed clear:
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.