SAN JOSE – Joe Pavelski didn’t want to tell reporters after the Sharks’ 2-1 win over Los Angeles Thursday that Brent Burns’ shot from the point hit him in the left boot before finding the back of the net. Presumably, Pavelski didn’t want to take away a goal from Burns, or maybe he just figured that it didn’t really matter.
The off-ice officials did notice it, though, and after the game credited Pavelski with the power play marker. It was his 39th of the season, leaving him just one shy of his first career 40-goal season.
On Saturday morning, Pavleksi was asked if reaching that plateau would have any special meaning.
“Yeah, definitely, to be honest, it’s nice, but it’s just nice to produce,” he said. “You want to play, and you want to score every night. Some nights it goes in, some nights it doesn’t and you leave the rink and wonder ‘How didn’t I score?’ But then you get some nights where you’ve got open nets, and you’re scoring.”
Pavelski would be just the fourth Sharks player to score 40 in a season, joining Jonathan Cheechoo in 2005-06 (56), Patrick Marleau in 2009-10 (44), and Owen Nolan in 1999-00 (44). Dany Heatley had 39 goals in 2009-10, so Pavelski is tied for the fourth highest single-season total in franchise history.
The 29-year-old has three hat tricks this season, and enters Saturday’s game with Nashville with five goals in his last five games. He’s third in the NHL in goals, and second with 15 power play markers.
“You feel like you can always score like this, but it’s the first year you’ve really done it,” Pavelski said. “Confidence is definitely high, and when you have the puck, you feel like you can score.”