The San Jose Sharks forward may have picked up a few pointers anyway. He batted the puck out of midair off a rebound to send the game to overtime, where the Sharks won, 2-1, to take Game 1 of the second-round series against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.
Pavelski, who leads the Sharks with five goals this postseason, had his prints all over the equalizer, which came midway through the third period. He drew the penalty -- a boarding minor called on Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi -- that put the Sharks on that power play. Pavelksi’s head bounded off the boards on the collision, but he took his normal spot on the power play as he directed the puck into the net after a blast by Joe Thornton wasn’t controlled by Wings goalie Jimmy Howard.
Pavelski became a marked man in the second period for the snow shower he gave Howard, who froze the puck a moment earlier. Howard took exception and shoved Pavelksi in the head a couple times. Each were called for roughing.
David Pollak of The Mercury News chatted with Pavelski about his action-filled night at the Shark Tank:
The part about batting the rebound into the net was improvised, but Pavelski resisted the usual notion that childhood baseball training came in handy.
“Maybe ping-pong,” he said.
As far as his run-in with Howard, here’s what Pavelski had to say:
“I don’t know if he had a chip on his shoulder, but he’s played well. We knew we had to go and get traffic there.
“I didn’t really think anyone was probably going off. They said I clipped him in the head there. Whatever happens, we were just going to the net and there’s going to be times like that.
Howard had a similar view of the encounter.
“That’s just the playoffs and emotions,” he said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
-- A.J. Perez