Pavelski’s goal in overtime lifts Sharks to 2-1 win, tying series at 2 games apieceBy Pat Graham, AP
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Pavelski’s OT goal lifts Sharks over Avalanche
DENVER — Joe Pavelski scored 10:24 into overtime and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 33 shots, giving the top-seeded San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night, tying the series at two games apiece.
All four games have been decided by a goal, the last three going into overtime.
On his game-winner, Pavelski gathered up a loose puck deep in Colorado’s zone and beat Craig Anderson with a shot into the right corner.
Dan Boyle gave the Sharks an early lead, knocking in a slap shot two days after scoring on his own goalie in overtime as he attempted to clear the puck.
The Avs countered with a second-period goal by Paul Stastny, his first of the series.
Game 5 is Thursday in San Jose.
This game was another battle between Nabokov and Anderson, both trying to outperform the other in net.
Anderson faced another barrage of San Jose shots. But for all the volume, the Sharks still struggled to sneak anything by him. Anderson has seen 148 shots over a span of three games. He had 43 saves Tuesday night.
Patrick Marleau nearly scored late in the third period, but Anderson slid over as he unleashed a shot, catching the puck in the crook of his arm.
Not to be outdone, Nabokov came up with a brilliant save with just over a minute remaining. He smothered a point-blank attempt by Brandon Yip.
Midway through overtime, Chris Stewart had the puck on his stick deep in the Sharks zone and an open teammate on the other side of the goal. He tried to thread a pass, but Boyle slid in the way and broke up the play.
For the Sharks, at least this time there were no bad bounces off skates. No scoring on their own goalie, either.
San Jose was feeling a little unlucky entering the game, waiting for the calamitous caroms to even out.
This is a team that lost Game 1 at home when the puck deflected off the skate of Sharks defenseman Rob Blake and into the net in the final minute. Then, in Game 3 on Sunday, Boyle knocked it past Nabokov when his clearing attempt was tipped into the net.
The Sharks took the day off Monday to rest and recharge after the disheartening loss the night before.
They definitely had the fresher legs early in the game, something the youthful Avalanche have prided themselves on all series.
Stastny drew a penalty on the opening faceoff for high sticking. The Sharks took advantage as Boyle’s slap shot flew threw the traffic and past Anderson just 72 seconds into the game.
That pretty much answered where Boyle’s head would be after his costly error.
His teammates didn’t need to give him a pre-game pep talk, though. Boyle has a Stanley Cup and Olympic gold medal on his resume.
“No one’s worried about Dan Boyle,” Devin Setoguchi said before the game.
Stastny tied the game at 1 early in the second period when he redirected a shot by John-Michael Liles past Nabokov on a power play. He has a goal and three assists in this postseason after leading the Avalanche with 79 points in the regular season.
The Avalanche were missing an integral part of their offense as Milan Hejduk sat out with an upper-body injury. Hejduk left early in Game 3 after a collision with Stastny as they drifted into the Sharks’ zone. Kevin Porter also sat out with an upper-body injury.
Filling in at forward for the Avalanche were Chris Durno and Marek Svatos. Durno became the 12th Colorado player to make his playoff debut in this series.
The Sharks had one of their offensive weapons back as Dany Heatley returned after sitting out Sunday with an unspecified injury. Heatley is a member of San Jose’s top line that also includes Joe Thornton and Marleau.
The trio has struggled in the series, failing to score after being so reliable all season.
The line was temporarily split up late in the game, Heatley joining the second line. He had a scoring chance midway through the third period after spinning around near the goal and whacking at the puck. But it ended up hitting Anderson in the pads.
In overtime, Heatley made a sliding attempt at a loose puck, sending it just wide of the net.
NOTES: Colorado F Peter Mueller remained sidelined with a head injury. … Avs D Ryan Wilson was a healthy scratch. … Sharks D Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a puck off the side of the head in the second period, but quickly returned.
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