– Joe Pavelski’s wrap-around goal 15:20 into the third period
gave the San Jose Sharks their second straight comeback victory, a
2-1 squeaker over the Columbus Blue Jackets at sold-out HP
SAN JOSE – Joe Pavelski’s wrap-around goal 15:20 into the third period gave the San Jose Sharks their second straight comeback victory, a 2-1 squeaker over the Columbus Blue Jackets at sold-out HP Pavilion.
San Jose returns to the ice Thursday night against Nashville before completing the homestand Saturday with a 1pm date with Florida.
The win lifted San Jose two points ahead of Chicago in the race for the Western Conference title. The Blackhawks play Detroit Sunday and the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday.
Despite just a 1-14-2 record at HP Pavilion entering play, the Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead in the second period and kept the Sharks off the scoreboard until 7:53 of the third period.
Dany Heatley provided the equalizer by setting up at the edge of the Columbus crease and tapping home a feed from Joe Thornton. Heatley’s 34th goal of the season, 18 seconds into a power play, stopped Columbus goaltender Steve Mason’s try at a fifth shut-out this season.
“We’ve been getting a lot of chances,” Heatley said of the club’s 44 shots on net. Pavelski and Patrick Marleau each managed seven shots, Dan Boyle six.
While Heatley’s goal came at point-blank range, Pavelski’s winner covered at least 10 feet.
Ryane Clowe’s rush at the net was denied by Mason, although the goalie was knocked back and did not get back on his skates the rest of the play. Marleau followed with a stab at the puck, only to see the attempt sent toward the slot. Pavelski took control of the puck and wrapped around the back of the net as Mason set himself in a butterfly position. As Pavelski skated across the endline he flicked a shot over Mason’s glove for his 18th of the season.
“It felt like no one was getting up,” Pavelski explained about his lofted shot inside the left post.
Thornton, who continued to pace the NHL with his 61st assist of the season, nearly gave the Sharks the 2-1 edge 12:32 into the third when his power rush to the right post resulted in a shot that kicked up against the crossbar behind Mason but did not cross the line. A review by off-ice staff confirmed the no-goal call.
“We took over in the third period with our big forwards and ended up getting some power plays and capitalizing,” said San Jose captain Rob Blake.
Columbus, locked in the 14th spot in the 15-team Western Conference, grabbed a 1-0 lead one minute into the second period when a speedy rush ended with the puck past goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
RJ Umberger jetted from the Jackets slot to the right circle in the San Jose zone before sliding the puck to Andrew Murray at the top of the crease for the quick strike under Nabokov.
NOTES: Marleau assisted on both Shark goals…Ryan Vesce was called up to replace the injured Scott Nichol.