"It'll happen, I bet, hopefully," Pavelski said. "We'll see, I'll
keep trying. That was one of the better looks I've had at it,
Pavelski logged his 22nd career two-goal game, barely missing the
net with a final attempt at No. 3, as the Sharks beat the Detroit
Red Wings 4-1 Thursday.
While Pavelski took the team lead with 21 goals — 12 scored over
the past 15 games — goalie Antti Niemi stopped 24 of 25 shots, and
San Jose's penalty kill went a perfect 4-for-4.
"We did some good things but weren't good enough here," Red Wings
coach Mike Babcock said. "We have to find a way to be better."
The Sharks broke open a tie game after one period with a three-goal
explosion in the second. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard struggled,
looking bad on the tiebreaking and fourth goals by the Sharks before
getting replaced at the start of the third period by rookie backup
"He played his best game the last time out, and tonight he had to be
better," Babcock said of Howard.
After the teams exchanged failed power plays early in the second
period, San Jose center Andrew Desjardins chipped a puck around
Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl at center, drove the left boards and
surprised Howard with a low wrister from the far edge of the left
circle at 9:44 to break a 1-1 tie.
"I guess I was going low blocker, it just found a little hole," said
Desjardins, whose only other goal this season came on Oct. 27. "You
don't want to be that far in between goals; it's just the way it
goes sometimes. It feels good to get one."
Less than three minutes later, Pavelski struck, corralling the
rebound of defenseman Brad Stuart's shot and lifting it behind
Howard at 12:25.
"When the team really needs him, he elevates his game," Sharks coach
Todd McLellan said of Pavelski. "That's the sign of a really good
After the Sharks killed a spirited Red Wings power play, right
winger Tyler Kennedy drew an interference penalty on defenseman Kyle
Quincey. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle made the visitors pay with a
power-play goal at 16:28 on a shot from the right circle that beat
an out-of-position Howard.
"We weren't very focused in Nashville (on Tuesday), but tonight we
got back on track and played a full 60," Sharks captain Joe Thornton
said of the team rebounding from a 1-2 road trip to stay within nine
points of the division-leading Anaheim Ducks.
The Sharks broke on top when Pavelski hit the back of the net for
the fourth time in five games 4:59 into the opening period.
[to top of second column]
Thornton led a rush into the Detroit zone, pulled up in the
left circle and spotted Pavelski in the opposite circle having
gained a shooting angle with center Henrik Zetterberg defending.
Thornton made a tape-to-tape pass, and Pavelski one-timed his
20th goal past Howard on the team's fourth shot of the game.
"They scored. We didn't," Zetterberg said of San Jose's top
line. "Those are good players, and when you give them a couple
of seconds, they produce. I think we forced things too much
rather than getting the puck and staying in control."
Niemi was strong in the middle portion of the period, robbing
right winger Dan Cleary on two shots in close at even strength.
The Sharks were unable to convert despite an effective
mid-period power play, and the Wings took advantage shortly
thereafter by drawing even.
Recognizing Marc-Edouard Vlasic lost his stick, Detroit left
winger Tomas Tatar skated out front against the San Jose
defender to the right of Niemi, and after a series of
stick-handling moves, lifted a backhander over the goalie's
glove into the far upper corner for his ninth goal at 16:48.
"We got back on our heels and they took over the game," Tatar
said. "We didn't play that bad. We just let them score, and it's
hard to win giving up four goals."
Howard stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced. Mrazek saves all
three San Jose shots in the final period.
NOTES: Sharks RW Tommy Wingels was activated off of injured
reserve after missing five games due to an upper-body injury
suffered Dec. 29. RW Freddie Hamilton was assigned to AHL
Worcester. ... Sharks D Matt Tennyson was promoted from the
team's affiliate in the AHL for insurance on the blue line as D
Matt Irwin sustained a lower-body injury in the third period of
San Jose's trip finale in Nashville on Tuesday. ... Sharks RW
Tyler Kennedy returned after missing four games due to illness
while LW James Sheppard and Tennyson were healthy scratches. ...
Sharks C Logan Couture underwent successful surgery Wednesday to
repair his injured right hand and will miss a minimum of 3-4
weeks. ... LW Tomas Hertl, RW Martin Havlat, RW Raffi Torres, RW
Adam Burish and Irwin are out injured for the Sharks. ...
Detroit has its share of injury woes as well. C Pavel Datsyuk
missed Thursday's game with a lower-body injury, skated on his
own, and hopes to return this weekend. ... RW Johan Franzen
hopes to return this weekend after sustaining a concussion Dec.
15. C Darren Helm (lower body) missed his third straight. He,
too, hopes to return Saturday in Los Angeles.
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