Joe Pavelski has 12 goals in his past 15 games played, and that did not stop against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday in the Shark Tank.
Pavelski and the San Jose Sharks took it to the Detroit Red Wings from the start of the game in Thursday’s contest. The Shark forward put the first goal of the game behind Red Wings goaltender, Jimmy Howard, just about five minutes into the game.
“He’s been really good,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of Pavelski. “We need to keep him that way. When the team really needs him, he elevates his game. That’s the sign of a real good player. Again, playing with the two players that he does, he’s just got to get himself in the right spot and find pucks, and he took advantage of it again.”
Pavelski has been a strong asset for the Sharks since being drafted in 2003. Scoring a lifetime 171 goals in 524 games played, Pavelski scored goals 20 and 21 on the season and is looking to reach his career record for goals in a season, 31.
“Been around the net a little bit,” Pavelski said. “Got some big goals and some goals you’re kind of lucky with at times. Playing with some good players. We were getting some multiple looks throughout the night. Between (Burns) and me, we were getting a lot to the net, and (Thornton) was making all the passes. The power play was beginning to click a little so it all adds up.”
The Red Wings were not very fond of their place on the ice Thursday.
“The first period was fine,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We gave up two ugly goals (in the second). For whatever reason, they went up 3-1 and that seemed to do it for us. We have to be mentally strong and keep skating no matter what. With this group we need good discipline and good goaltending and we didn’t get it.”
The lone goal for the Wings came from Tomas Tatar, with about three minutes remaining in the first period. As he received a crisp pace pass from fellow forward Riley Sheahan, he proceeded to make his way past the blue line, in order to split the Shark defensemen.
“I saw the one guy without a stick and looked up to try and pass,” Tatar said. “When no one came over to help I chose to take it. The puck was following me tonight. It’s too bad I only scored one goal. I had plenty of other opportunities.”
Andrew Desjardins, Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski all scored goals in the second period. Jimmy Howard, who has been trying to get back on track, was not receiving very much help from his defensemen, but took full blame for the loss of the game.
“We stopped skating and started watching them on the power play,” Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “In the second half of the first period we started doing some good things but for whatever reason we stopped skating. We should keep going, keep skating. I’ve said it too many times already. It’s time for us to start doing something.”
The Red Wings will try to do something different in Los Angeles, against Jonathan Quick and the Kings on Saturday, as they will play the third of their five-game road trip at 10:30 p.m. EST.
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Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.
For more information on the Detroit Red Wings and NHL hockey from analysts and journalists at Michigan State University – tune into Octopi Hockeytown podcasts and embrace the Spartan debate at www.impact89fm.org/sports
Austin Goodman is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
SJS – 4:59 – J. Pavelski (Wrist) J. Thornton, B. Burns
DET – 16:48 – T. Tatar (Backhand) L. Glendening, B. Smith
SJS – 9:44 – A. Desjardins (Wrist) B. Kearns, M. Edouard-Vlasic
SJS – 12:25 – J. Pavelski (Wrist) B. Stuart, J. Braun
SJS – 16:28 PPG – D. Boyle (Wrist) J. Demers, J. Thornton
No goals recorded.
First: Joe Pavelski
(2G, +2, 4 shots, 1 hit, 21:16 TOI)
Second: Joe Thornton
(2A, +2, 17:21 TOI)
Third: Andrew Desjardins
(1G, +1, 3 shots, 2 hits, 2 PIM, 14:10 TOI)