Avalanche's game-tying goal overturned in Game 7 loss

Sharks' Joe Pavelski says Vegas' Game 7 penalty wasn't 5-minute major

"They gave a lot of motivation for me", Pavelski said. "He's day to day".

His speed and strength on the puck make him unstoppable and once he gets his jets going, no one can stand in his way.

Pavelski's injury happened midway through the third period in Game 7 against Vegas on April 23 with San Jose trailing 3-0. After a cross-check from Vegas forward Cody Eakin, Pavelski collided with Knights forward Paul Stastny and fell head-first to the ice. The impact of Pavelski's helmet slamming the ice knocked him out briefly and caused him to bleed from his head.

There is definitely more pressure on San Jose to win, as they were the series favorite and among the teams expected to win the Stanley Cup back in October.

The Sharks are 25-11-5 at home.

Pavelski has become a hero, and we could only imagine the reception that he will receive from San Jose faithful if he were to return on Wednesday night. I wish I could tell you what he's gone through from seeing it firsthand.

The Sharks have had a slightly bigger advantage when it comes to the possession game and total shot attempts (53 percent to 46 percent) but the Avalanche have actually done a better job generating scoring chances (52 percent) and high-danger chances (54 percent). San Jose was supposed to have the better depth up front but that hasn't been the case so far. When Pavelski's image was shown on the center-ice cube during the team's Game 5 matchup at SAP Center, the crowd went absolutely ballistic in applause for their returning captain.

Colorado has six forwards with at least two goals this series, including secondary options like J.T. Compher, Tyson Jost, Colin Wilson and Matt Nieto.

Next stop: The Western Conference final, and a showdown with the St. Louis Blues, which is why Donskoi couldn't care less about your fancy stats regarding his goal-scoring drought.

For a moment, it appeared the Sharks had allowed the game-tying goal they dreaded in the second period of Wednesday night's Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche.

"They've been unbelievable all playoffs, all season", Compher said of Colorado's Big Three. "Guys were stepping up all over the place and that's why we're in the spot we are".

The Avs' Mikko Rantanen, who was also an injury concern before the game-he flew in to join the team in the morning after being injured in Monday's game-scored first for the Avalanche. Getting there hasn't been easy. Logan Couture leads San Jose with nine goals, Erik Karlsson has 12 assists and Tomas Hertl has 50 shots on goal. This is Game 7, and one power play or one goal could be the difference between an extended postseason run and an extended summer.

The Sharks went on to score about five minutes later, making it a 3-1 game. The Sharks are 4-1 in their last 5 games as a home favorite, 4-1 in their last 5 games as a favorite and 4-1 in their last 5 home games.



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