The first game back from Sochi was an amazing one for the San Jose Sharks, with Olympian Joe Pavelski scoring a hat trick to help cream the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Sharks stopped the Flyers four-game winning streak in the first game for both teams since the break with a 7-2 win on Thursday night.
Raffi Torres and Logan Couture, returning to play after suffering injuries, each scored two goals. Torres has been out the entire season, making his 2013-14 debut after sustaining an injury during a preseason against the Anaheim Ducks. Couture had missed the last 16 games due to a hand injury and undergoing surgery to fix the problem.
After being outshot 10-4 in the first period, the Sharks were trailing 2-0. Entering the second period, it was apparent that the coaching staff emphasized shooting the puck during the break.
“We didn’t have a lot of purpose in our game in the first period, especially in their zone,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “Kind of skating around waiting for something to happen. We got our forecheck going in the second (and) a lot more pucks to the goaltender, which created second and third chances. We had to start thinking about throwing the puck from bad angles and creating second (chances) that way.”
And shoot the puck they did. Five goals were scored during the second period
“We started to finally shoot the puck,” Couture said. “The first period we weren’t shooting. We were playing in their end but we weren’t shooting. That’s more the way we play, the way we need to play. A lot of our goals were off rebounds and that’s the way you score in this league.”
Pavelski scored all three of his goals during this second period, with a total of five reaching the back of the net. “We had some good luck throughout the team,” he said. “They were just going in tonight. Life is good. Hopefully they keep coming.” This was Pavs’ second career hat trick.
“He just gets his stick on everything,” Joe Thornton said of Pavelski. “He’s always around the net. He has a knack for scoring goals, and tonight was no different.”
Despite the spectacle that was the game, this was a great way for the Sharks to come back from a 5-2 loss the last time the two teams met.
Now imagine if the entire roster had been healthy the first half of the season.