Tag: Joe Pavelski

Pittsburgh Penguins v San Jose Sharks

NHL on NBCSN: Sharks desperate for wins, Penguins seek definitive end to slump


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the San Jose Sharks at the Consol Energy Center, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have fallen on hard times and while they did manage to secure a 3-2 win yesterday, it was against the lowly Coyotes. If you exclude games against Arizona, Pittsburgh hasn’t won since March 12.

“We‘re playing so bad right now, it’s true,” Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin said before the start of the Coyotes’ game, per the team’s website. “Not just one guy, it’s the whole team. The last game (Pittsburgh’s 5-2 loss to Carolina on Thursday), I think it’s the worst game of the whole season. It’s not fun to watch.”

Regardless of the opponent, a win’s a win, but tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks will be a much bigger test. The Sharks are six points behind in the playoff race with seven contests remaining, so the chances of them making the playoffs are slim, but they’re coming off back-to-back wins as they desperately try to stay in the race.

“Every win is rewarding, especially right now,” Sharks forward Joe Pavelski told CSN Bay Area. “We’re fighting and playing for wins.”

Adding to the challenge for both teams is the fact that they’re playing with depleted defenses. The San Jose Sharks lost blueliner Mirco Mueller (hand) on Thursday and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (lower body) on Saturday. Defenseman Scott Hannan sustained a cut under his eye during Saturday’s game, but he still might end up playing tonight.

On Pittsburgh’s side, defenseman Christian Ehrhoff is out with an upper-body injury while Kris Letang was hospitalized on Saturday following a hit by Shane Doan:

With a 41-23-11 record, the Penguins are tied with the New York Islanders in terms of points in the battle for the second seed in the Metropolitan Division and the first round home-ice advantage that comes with it. Pittsburgh has played in one less game than the Islanders, so they have a bit of an edge in that respect. At the same time Pittsburgh is only three points ahead of the Wild Card seed Washington Capitals, so if the Penguins’ struggles continue, they could slip significantly in the standings.

Senators rally in third to beat Sharks, surpass Bruins in Wild Card race

Andrew Hammond, Bobby Ryan

Back in mid-February, Ottawa required nothing short of a miraculous run to get back into the playoff race. Enter 27-year-old rookie goaltender Andrew Hammond. He’s reversed the course of the team to the point where they are actually in possession of a Wild Card spot after earning a 5-2 victory against San Jose Monday night.

San Jose’s Joe Pavelski and Chris Tierney did managed to score just 30 seconds apart in the second period, but that’s all Hammond allowed in his 29-save effort. Ottawa did the rest courtesy of a third period rally with Senators forwards Mika Zibanejad and Bobby Ryan leading the charge.

Zibanejad netted Ottawa’s first two goals of the game while Ryan was credited with three assists, including the 200th of his career.

Starting with Hammond’s first start on Feb. 18, the Senators have gone on a 15-1-1 run. The sole regulation loss came during one of Craig Anderson’s two starts during that stretch. Coupled with the Bruins dropping five straight games, Ottawa now has a one-point edge over Boston in the battle for the second Wild Card seed. On top of that the Senators have played in one less game.

The stakes will be very high for the Bruins on Thursday when they take on the Anaheim Ducks.

For the Senators, as big as tonight was, there might also be a somber note to it. Although Hammond played the full 60 minutes, he suffered an ankle injury that required treatment after the contest, per the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. Zibanejad also blocked a shot with his arm but said he’s okay.

Jets reclaim wild card position with win over Sharks


Blake Wheeler scored twice and added an assist as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Tuesday night.

With the win the Jets reclaim the second wild card position in the Western Conference.

Winnipeg scored three goals on their first eight shots to chase Sharks’ starter Antti Niemi.

Adam Lowry, Mark Scheifele and Andrew Ladd gave Winnipeg a 3-0 lead by the 13:01 mark of the first period.

Wheeler now has six goals and five assists in seven games this month. He also has three game-winning goals.

Joe Pavelski had a pair of goals in the loss for the Sharks while Alex Stalock made 12 saves in relief.

The loss drops the Sharks six points back of the Jets for a playoff spot.

With the recent news surrounding former San Jose captain Joe Thornton, Jets fans at the MTS Centre decided to have a little fun Tuesday.

Ondrej Pavelec, who was making consecutive starts for the first time since November, made 38 saves in the win.

‘Pressure and stress’ of captaincy caused Thornton to lash out at people, says Sharks GM

Joe Thornton

In a candid Q&A with Sharks season-ticket holders prior to Thursday’s win over Nashville, San Jose GM Doug Wilson provided a glimpse into the organization’s reasoning for taking Joe Thornton’s captaincy away last summer.

“He cares about the game so much,” Wilson said, per the Mercury News. “The reason we took the ‘C’ off him … Joe carries the weight of the team on his shoulders, and he’s got such a big heart that when stress comes on him, he lashes out at people. It kind of impacts them.

“The pressure and stress, I felt, was getting to Joe. And I sat him down and said we need other players to step up and share this. He got it. He didn’t like it, but he got it and he understood it.”

Thornton, who inherited ‘C’ from Rob Blake in 2010 and spent four years as team captain, was embroiled in a bizarre leadership restructuring last offseason that began with losing the letter in late August — Patrick Marleau was stripped of his alternate captaincy as well — only for the team to re-name Thornton to the leadership group at the end of training camp in October, making him one of four alternates for the season (along with Marleau — who was re-instituted — Joe Pavelski, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.)

The Sharks responded with an inconsistent campaign that currently sees them in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. Head coach Todd McLellan has repeatedly questioned the team’s identity and, in mid-February, gave a curious interview to Sportsnet’s Fan 590, in which he said the Sharks were “better led” this season without a captain than they were with Thornton in charge last year.

“The situation of removing the ‘C’ from certain individuals isn’t an ideal one, but what we’ve got is what we wanted,” McLellan explained. “We have different people stepping up. We have leadership by committee.

“In fact, this year I believe we’re better led than we were last year without having a ‘C’ on. And that’s not an indictment on Joe Thornton by any means.”

But it sure sounds like an indictment now, especially in light of what Wilson told ticket holders yesterday.

Related: Sounds like San Jose handled stripping Thornton’s captaincy really well

Video: Ovechkin scores, now has more power play goals than Buffalo

Alex Ovechkin

It didn’t take Alex Ovechkin long to make his mark on Wednesday’s Rivalry Night game against the Rangers.

Ovechkin scored his 45th goal of the year on the power play at 11:43 of the first period, marking the 21st time this season he’s tallied with the man advantage:

With the goal, Ovechkin also strengthened his NHL lead in PP markers — he’s now four up on San Jose’s Joe Pavelski — and has turned his sights to catching teams.

Yes, teams. From NHL Network host Mike Kelly:

Buffalo is in action tonight — the Sabres have scored three even-strength goals against Toronto — so it’s not clear how long this distinction will last.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering… Ovechkin would need eight more power play goals to catch the next team on the list: Colorado, which sits 29th in the NHL with 29 PPG.