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Pavelski leads comeback win
Sharks forced to rally from 2-0 deficit
11/29/08 - By Mike Lee

The Arena in Phoenix hasn't exactly been hospitable to the Sharks as of late, and the first 3 minutes of Saturday night's game suggested that things weren't about to change anytime soon. Giving up 2 quick goals to the host Coyotes and playing in their second game in as many nights may have been plenty of excuse to throw in the towel, but San Jose clawed back to win 3-2. Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals including the game winner midway through the 3rd period.

The game was reminiscent of the November 9th contest in Phoenix when the Sharks jumped out to the early 2-0 lead, only to see the Coyotes score 4 unanswered goals to take that game 4-2. That game was also the last time the Sharks lost in regulation.

The shoe was on the other foot this time around, thanks to Pavelski.

The Coyotes wasted no time getting on the board, converting just 28 seconds into the game. Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris sent in a blast from the point that found its way through traffic.

The Sharks got sloppy when Christian Ehrhoff took a bad hooking penalty at the 3:00 mark. Phoenix used all of 13 seconds of their power play to convert. Ed Jovanovski put another point shot in on net, but Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov made the initial save. It was a big rebound that Nabokov gave up that cost him. After Shane Doan whiffed on the chance, Kyle Turris swooped in to deposit the puck into a wide-open net for the quick 2-0 lead.

Joe Pavelski cut the Phoenix lead in half a minute later on a put back from 12-feet out after Ryane Clowe bounced a shot off Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Pavelski was circling near the inside of the left circle when the deflection kicked back to him.

The Coyotes lead would completely evaporate at the 5:26 mark when Rob Blake pumped his 5th goal of the season past Bryzgalov from a severe angle. Marcel Goc circled behind the Phoenix net and fed the puck out to Blake, ala Joe Thornton. The Sharks defenseman one-timed the pass from the bottom of the right circle, deflecting it off the crossbar and into the net.

Phoenix head coach Wayne Gretzky wasn't pleased with his team giving up their 2-goal lead so quickly, so he pulled Bryzgalov immediately after the Blake goal. Things settled down after Mikael Tellqvist replaced Bryzgalov.

Joe Thornton took a double minor after he hooked Martin Hanzel, then plowed the Coyotes centerman after the whistle sounded. The Coyotes 4-minute power play was partially negated when Jovanovski took a tripping penalty.

The two teams played a more controlled game in the 2nd period, controlling the defensive end of the ice by limiting the shots on goal. Enver Lisin missed on a shot that clanked off the right post midway through the period.

A Zbynek Michalek holding penalty at 5:17 of the 3rd period gave the Sharks an opportunity to try and break the scoring drought, but didn't generate any movement in front of Tellqvist. They would however start to turn up the offensive pressure on the Coyotes goaltender. San Jose would out-shoot Phoenix 13-4 in the period.

Pavelski would finally crack Tellqvist with his 10th goal of the season at 11:23 of the period. The throw the puck on net and good things will happen philosophy paid off after defenseman Brad Lukowich sent in a shot from the left point. Pavelski was parked just outside the crease and poked home the rebound as a scrum formed in front of Tellqvist.

Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi made things interesting with back to back shots off the post in rapid succession after the Sharks collapsed on the Phoenix goal.

Nabokov made a diving save with 4 minutes to play to help preserve the lead. The Sharks netminder was forced to slide to his right and stack the pads after Turris put a shot on net from just outside the left post.

The Coyotes were forced to pull Tellqvist with a minute to play and Milan Michalek took a tripping penalty with 22 seconds remaining in regulation to setup the 6-on-4 for Phoenix. The Coyotes would get one more crack at Nabokov, but the Sharks defense would hold.

Game Notes:

With Bryzgalov being pulled, it marked the third consecutive game that the Sharks faced two goaltenders in the contest. Nikolai Khabibulin was replaced by Cristobal Huet on Wednesday after Khabibulin was injured, and Marty Turco was chased on Friday night after giving up 5 goals. Tomas Plihal left the game with an undisclosed illness and didn't play in the 3rd period.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 0 1 3
PHO 2 0 0 2
1st period - 1, PHO, Morris 3 (Mueller, Doan), 0:28. 2, PHO, Turris 2 (Doan, Jovanovski), 3:13, (pp). 3, SJ, Pavelski 9 (Michalek), 4:15. 4, SJ, Blake 5 (Goc, Plihal), 5:26.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Pavelski 10 (Lukowich, Michalek), 11:23.
1st period - Ehrhoff, SJ (hooking), 3:00; Thornton, SJ (hooking), 8:15; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 8:15; Jovanovski, PHO (tripping), 10:14.
2nd period - Sauer, PHO (high sticking), 8:58; Goc, SJ (tripping), 15:43.
3rd period - Michalek, PHO (holding), 5:17; Hanzal, PHO (high sticking), 13:18; Michalek, SJ (tripping), 19:38.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 20 18
PHO - Bryzgalov 2 0
PHO - Tellqvist 21 20
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 6 4 13 23
PHO 9 7 4 20
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
PHO 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Milan Michalek
Martin Hanzel
Referees: Leggo, St Pierre. Linesmen: Wheler, Schachte.

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