Sharks captain Joe Pavelski opens scoring in Game 7 win in emotional return from injury

After suffering a scary injury in the prior round that had sidelined him for two weeks, San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski was making his emotional return in Game 7 of the second-round matchup against the Colorado Avalanche. 

In a near-storybook moment, Pavelski opened the scoring in the first period with a great deflection goal as the Sharks went on to win 3-2. 

Pavelski was cruising in the middle of the faceoff circle when he got a tip on a Brent Burns shot. That redirected the puck and sent it past Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who was moving the opposite direction. The score gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 5:57, and Pavelski let the emotion show when it went in. 

The Sharks captain, who has been on the team since 2006, hadn’t played since suffering a concussion in a scary fall in Game 7 of the series against the Vegas Golden Knights. The moment proved to be the turning point in that game, as the cross-check that led to Pavelski’s fall, which also caused bleeding from the head, earned Cody Eakin a controversial 5-minute major penalty. The Sharks scored four times on the ensuing power play to…

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