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Pavelski returns, Sharks roll
Penguins fall 5-0 at HP Pavilion
11/7/09 - By Mike Lee -

The defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins made their only visit to HP Pavilion on Saturday night, and are probably thankful they won't be seeing the Sharks on Mellon Arena ice in the regular season. San Jose put everything together in a 5-0 dismantling before a sellout crowd. Five different Sharks scored, including Joe Pavelski, who made his return to the lineup after a 15 game absence. Evgeni Nabokov turned aside all 27 shots he faced to earn his 49th career shutout.

Everything seemed to fall in favor of the Sharks, who welcomed back Pavelski, a regular on the second line. When they threw pucks on net, they went in. When they defended the high powered Penguins offense, they got the blocks and saves necessary to prevent the Penguins from recording a point in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

"There's a smile on everyone's face when he is back in the lineup," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said of Pavelski after the game. "He means so much to our team, a very intelligent player. He brings a calmness to the ice."

Burdened with injury problems of their own, the Penguins played without forward Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who are both on the mend with ailments.

Pavelski scored the Sharks second goal of the evening, on a power play at 16:04 of the opening period. Dan Boyle setup the goal by sending a diagonal pass into the slot, where Pavelski was parked for the deflection past Marc-Andre Fleury.

"It's a good victory," Pavelski said. "They're a good team and they've been good on the road as well. We got off to a good start. We were able to keep building on it and score goals. We have to come again the next day against Nashville. They're going to come in hungry and they're going to play us hard." Pittsburgh was on the penalty kill after Matt Cooke tried laying out Douglas Murray with a check well after a whistle. Cooke first found himself flat on his back after bouncing off of Murray, then parked in the penalty box with a roughing minor.

Michael Rupp went after Murray again, but found himself squaring off with Brad Staubitz, after the Sharks defenseman came to his teammate's aid.

Jamie McGinn put the Sharks up 1-0 earlier in the period on his second goal of the season. After working the puck around the end boards, McGinn pushed it toward the right corner where Jed Ortmeyer beat a defender to the pass. Ortmeyer returned the feed to McGinn, who threw the puck on net from a severe angle. The shot hit Fleury in the skate and deflected into the net.

"I think we got behind the eight ball at one- nothing," said Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "They got a power play goal with five minutes left in the first. The game got out of hand with the score and maybe we kind of lapsed in our game. When it got to be two-nothing they came hard and put the pucks behind our defense. We just weren't ready to play the type of game that they came ready to play."

Joe Thornton just missed making it 3-0 on a one time chance right in front of the net but Fleury made a spectacular save right before the end of the period.

Boyle would score the Sharks third goal at 1:41 of the 2nd period after he walked into the Pittsburgh zone and snapped a shot past Fleury. The defenseman first beat Ruslan Fedotenko through the neutral zone, then deeked Martin Skoula with a nasty move that undressed the defenseman before unloading the shot from the right dot.

That would end Fleury's night, as Bylsma pulled the netminder for backup Brent Johnson.

Dany Heatley pushed the Sharks lead to 4-0 less than two minutes later by tapping in a shot from Pavelski in the slot during a 4-on-4. Boyle started the sequence by carrying the puck in the Pittsburgh zone and straddling the blueline before dishing the puck to Thornton in the left corner. Pavelski sliced down the middle of the slot, before taking a Thornton pass and jamming it toward the net. The shot trickled under Johnson's left pad and appeared headed for the goal anyway, but Heatley gave it an additional push from just outside the right post.

"The Coaching staff harps on faceoffs and coming out of our end," said Heatley. "We have enough guys that when we have the puck, we're going to do some good things. We've been doing that lately, getting out of our own end clean and winning some draws."

Nabokov earned his pay on a play in tight after Murray was sent off for holding at 13:48. Chris Kunitz took a feed just outside the right post and tried one-timing the puck past Nabokov, but the Sharks netminder smothered the shot.

Jay McKee put the Sharks on a 4 minute power play 8 minutes into the 3rd period, after he threw Pavelski into the boards then went after Jody Shelley. The defenseman would earn a trip to the showers for instigating.

Manny Malhotra would make the Penguins pay by ripping a shot from the high slot past Johnson for the 5-0 lead at 9:51. The goal was significant, because San Jose's power play hasn't been burning up the league as of late, so getting a pair of tallies on the man-advantage was a welcome change.

Shelley would get a chance to exact some revenge by scoring a win in a bout with Eric Godard with 4 minutes to play. The fight was peculiar, given the league's rules regarding instigating within the last 5 minutes of play. Shelley made quick work of Godard with a couple of heavy rights.

For Nabokov, he went about his business, stopping everything the Penguins tried throwing at him.

"It was a very good night for us," said McLellan. "We executed how we wanted to and had the start we needed to have coming back from the road trip."

Game Notes:

Pittsburgh is now winless in their last nine (8-0-1) visits to HP Pavilion. Pittsburgh’s last win in San Jose was in October of 1997, when Tom Barasso outdueled Kelly Hrudy.


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1 2 3 T
PIT 0 0 0 0
SJ 2 2 1 5
1st period - 1, SJ, McGinn 2 (Nichol, Ortmeyer), 3:27. 2, Pavelski 1 (Boyle, Malhotra), 16:04, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Boyle 3 (Ortmeyer, Huskins), 1:41. 4, SJ, Heatley 11 (Pavelski, Thornton), 3:31.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Malhotra 3 (Vlasic, Clowe), 9:51, (pp).
1st period - Crosby, PIT (hooking), 0:52; Adams, PIT (elbowing), 6:23; Clowe, SJ (tripping), 8:51; Cooke, PIT (roughing), 15:40; Rupp, PIT (fighting major), 16:45; Staubitz, SJ (fighting major), 16:45.
2nd period - Cooke, PIT (diving), 1:24; Pavelski, SJ (holding), 1:24; Adams, PIT (tripping), 6:07; Pavelski, SJ (interference), 6:46; Murray, SJ (holding), 13:48; Godard, PIT (slashing), 16:59; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 16:59.
3rd period - Mckee, PIT (roughing), 7:59; Mckee, PIT (instigator), 7:59; Mckee, PIT (fighting major), 7:59; Mckee, PIT (10 min misconduct), 7:59; Shelley, SJ (fighting major), 7:59; Heatley, SJ (slashing), 11:38; Godard, PIT (fighting major), 16:06; Shelley, SJ (fighting major), 16:06.
Shots Saves
PIT - Fleury 14 11
PIT - Johnson 21 19
SJ - Nabokov 27 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
PIT 3 12 12 27
SJ 13 8 14 35
Power Play Conversion
PIT 0 of 4
SJ 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Dan Boyle
Evgeni Nabokov
Joe Pavelski
Referees: Auger, Kowal. Linesmen: Nelson, Morin.

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