Avs try to gain traction in home test vs. Sharks

The Colorado Avalanche will try to record consecutive wins for the first time in over a month when they host the surging San Jose Sharks tonight at the Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche ended a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in nine games with Friday's 3-0 victory over visiting Dallas. However, Colorado hasn't been able to string together two wins since a five-game winning streak from Oct. 10-17.

Friday's victory kicked off the longest-ever continuous homestand for Colorado. The Avs, who will play eight straight at home before their next road test on Dec. 6 in Vancouver, are just 3-6-0 as the host this year. Colorado had a nine-game homestand in 2001-02, but that residency was split in half by the Winter Olympics.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped all 24 shots he faced to help the Avs secure the 3-0 win over the Stars. Chuck Kobasew, Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene netted the goals for Colorado.

It was Giguere's 35th shutout of his career but his first since February 6, 2010.

"We talked about protecting our house tonight," Giguere said. "We won the game at the blue line and we really benefited by not giving up too many shots."

Giguere signed a two-year deal with Colorado in the summer and was expected to serve primarily in a backup role to Semyon Varlamov.With Varlamov struggling, Giguere started on back-to-back nights on Thursday and Friday and could get a third consecutive start this evening.

Varlamov is 0-5-1 in his last six starts and has surrendered a whopping 25 goals in that awful stretch.

The Sharks, meanwhile, have been excellent since putting a 1-3-0 start to the season behind them. San Jose has a 10-2-1 mark over its last 13 games and has won two straight and four of five.

San Jose recorded a win Saturday night in Dallas, as Antti Niemi had 30 saves while Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored power play goals early in the first two periods, leading the Sharks to the 4-1 victory.

"Niemi played well again, especially early in the game when we were still trying to find our way," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "They were coming hard and had a good forecheck. But he gave us the chance."

The Sharks are 6-2-0 on the road this season and are completing a brief two- game trip tonight.

San Jose won three of four meetings with the Avalanche last season and has claimed five of seven and nine of the last 12 encounters between the clubs. The Sharks have dropped three of their last four in Denver.