The San Jose Sharks started backup goalie Alex Stalock in Thursday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. This was Stalock’s second straight shutout after beating Florida 3-0 last week. With Antti Niemi getting ready to join Team Finland at the Olympics, Coach Todd McLellan is utilizing Stalock more, keeping both players fresh for the playoffs.
“Obviously, it feels good to get a shutout,” Stalock said. “I think in the last two games, maybe a total of 40 shots. You see that sometimes in one game, and it says a lot to spread that out among two games. You put it on a team effort, clearing away rebounds, and it makes it a lot simpler.” He added that closing the amount of time he’d been used as a starter to two games helped. “You kind of are right back at it, game speed,” Stalock said. “But every game is different.”
The scoreless two periods were a battle of tight defense. There were 37 combined shots for both teams and very few scoring chances.
However, in the third period Joe Pavelski continued his hot streak, contributing the lone goal to win the game with 6:48 on the clock. This was Joe’s seventh goal in the last four games. This 28th goal pushed him up to the second overall scorer in the NHL this season, just below Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals who has a total of 35.
Pavs goal materialized after Justin Braun threw the puck to the net, the rebound flying through the air long enough for Joe to bat it in. Joe said that “It was one of those that’s just kind of hovering and you’re going to the net hoping for something like that and I just touched it.” It was as simple as that. Joe lucky streak began after being chosen to join Team USA; coincidence, I think not!
“We hope it lasts for a long time,” McLellan said of Pavelski’s goal streak. “Right spot, right time, great hand-eye.”
(Photo: Meyer/Bay Area News Group)