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Pavelski's hat trick paces Sharks
San Jose overcomes sluggish start to snap losing streak
2/13/15 - By Mike Lee -

If the Sharks are going to make a serious run at a playoff spot this season, they need to take points from inferior teams that are ripe for the picking. They did just that on Friday night, shaking off a sluggish start to knock off the host Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Joe Pavelski powered a comeback from a 2-0 deficit with his 4th career hat trick.

The win helped San Jose keep pace in the Western Conference, which has a log jam for the final four playoff spots. San Jose hop-scotched past Winnipeg and Vancouver for the 5th spot in the conference, and 2nd place in the Pacific Division behind Anaheim. The Sharks would need a significant push to catch the Ducks for the Division crown, so holding off the likes of Vancouver, Calgary and Los Angeles is the team's priority.

Arizona sits 16 points out of a playoff spot, and have struggled to win at home this season. Their 9 home wins ranks last in the league, so it was imperative for the Sharks to capitalize on a prime opportunity to collect points in the standings.

Things looked as if they would go in the opposite direction for San Jose early in the game. Mark Arcobello wasted little time putting the Sharks in to a hole, by scoring his 9th goal of the season just 1:42 into the game. Arcobello took a Michael Stone pass up the right wing before snapping a shot past Antti Niemi below the blocker.

Matt Tennyson put the Sharks in a predicament with an interference penalty that put the Coyotes on their 1st of two power plays on the night. The Sharks cam with 2 seconds of killing the infraction, but when Brent Burns gloved a pass and tried sending a blind backhand out of the zone, he ended up putting the puck Keith Yandle's stick. Yandle worked the puck to Sam Gagner, who setup a Martin Erat shot that found twine to make it 2-0 Coyotes.

The Sharks used the intermission to regroup and came out of the locker room more committed to details. Pavelski in particular was a one--man wrecking crew.

The centerman was the beneficiary of a deflection off Oliver Ekman-Larsson's skate 27 seconds into the 2nd period to get the Sharks on the board. Pavleski carried the puck along the end line out of the right corner, spotting Melker Karlsson on the far side of the net. Pavelski tried to loft a pass to Karlsson, but Ekman-Larsson tried to block the pass by dropping his leg to the ice. The puck hit his skate and deflected past Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith for his 29th goal of the season.

Pavelski tied the game at 2-2 at 13:09 with a power play goal after the Coyotes took a pair of overlapping penalties at the mid-point of the period. Logan Couture and Joe Thornton setup the goal by playing keep-away in the Arizona zone until Pavelski setup to the right of the slot for a bag-bang one-timer that beat Smith.

Barclay Goodrow gave the Sharks their first lead of the game 6:23 into the 3rd period, after carrying the puck up the right wing and snapping a shot from the bottom of the right circle for his 4th tally of the season. Andrew Desjardins was tripped on the attack, but was able to join the attack after Goodrow swooped in and gained control of the puck. With Desjardins on his left, Goodrow elected to shoot, rather than try a pass to his linemate. That decision proved fruitful as the puck slipped over Smith's left shoulder for the 3-2 Sharks lead.

Pavelski completed his hat trick with an empty net goal with 1:26 to play.

Game Notes:

* The win was also head coach Todd McLellan's 300th career victory. McLellan became the 2nd fastest to reach that mark, amassing the milestone in his 515th game. Bruce Beaudreau did it in 496 games.

* Joe Thornton added 3 assists, pushing him to 1,244 career points. Thornton needs 23 points to surpass Jean Ratelle for 35th on the all-time scoring list.

* Rookie defenseman Mirco Mueller had a game high 4 blocked shots.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 2 4
ARI 2 0 0 2
1st period - 1, ARI, Arcobello 9 (Stone), 1:42. 2, ARI, Erat 8 (Gagner, Yandle), 15:07, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Pavelski 29 (Thornton, Hannan), 0:27. 4, SJ, Pavelski 30 (Couture, Thornton), 13:09, (pp).
3rd period - 5, SJ, Goodrow 4 (Burns, Niemi), 6:23. 6, SJ, Pavelski 31 (Thornton), 18:34, (en).
1st period - Arcobello, ARI (holding the stick), 7:19; Tennyson, SJ (interference), 13:08.
2nd period - Dillon, SJ (slashing), 5:37; Stone, ARI (hooking), 10:57; Ekman-Larsson, ARI (roughing), 12:47.
3rd period - Irwin, SJ (roughing), 1:33; Shinnimin, ARI (roughing), 1:33.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 34 32
ARI - Smith 25 22
- empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 8 11 26
ARI 12 12 10 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
ARI 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Antti Niemi
Mark Arcobello
Referees: Pochmara, Jackson. Linesmen: Henderson, Heyer.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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