The San Jose Sharks (32-12-6, 70 points) defeated the Calgary Flames (16-27-7, 39 points) by the final score of 3-2 at home in what was the first game of a four-game homestand. San Jose forward Joe Pavelski had another great performance and seems to be heating up at the right time for Team U.S.A. with the Olympics right around the corner.
I guess it is true what they say that when you are hot all the bounces go your way because right now that’s how things are going for Joe Pavelski. He scored two more goals this evening to bring his season total to 27. This now puts him just four goals off of his career high in a season set in 2010-11 when he had 31. That number also means he is now tied with Anaheim’s Corey Perry for second in the league in goals behind only Alex Ovechkin. Overall, Pavelski has scored 18 goals in his last 20 games to go along with five assists.
Pavelski came through in a major way once again for the San Jose Sharks who needed both of his goals in order to defeat the Flames. His most important one was his second of the night on the only power play of the game for either team on a tip-in goal. Pavelski deflected the airborne Joe Thornton pass on a two-on-one down low. That goal, which was the only one scored in the second period, would also be the last and eventual game-winner.
His other goal came in a high-scoring first period that featured San Jose goals just 21 second apart from Pavelski himself to open the scoring for the Sharks and winger Tommy Wingels.
It was the Calgary Flames though who broke open the scoring just 4:08 into the first period on a Jiri Hudler goal after displaying some great stick-handling to get by a Sharks defenseman and goaltender Antti Niemi.
They would also score the last goal of the period, which tied the game at two apiece, on a simple rebound after Niemi let out a juicy rebound right into the slot. Calgary’s Kevin Westgarth was the one who put the rebound home for his first goal of the season.
In the third period the Flames gave the Sharks all they could handle out-shooting them 11-6. San Jose looked a little flat-footed to start the third and at times seemed sluggish but was able to pull out the victory thanks to limited scoring chances. In the end it was a 3-2 Sharks victory and a great start to their homestand.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Pavelski (2 goals)
2. Joe Thornton (1 assist, 82% faceoffs)
3. Jiri Hudler (1 goal, 3 shots, 1 hit)