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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Pavelski paces Sharks in Philly

Scott Hartnell, Justin Braun

San Jose's Justin Braun, right, tries to dig the puck away from Philadelphia's Scott Hartrnell in the visiting Sharks' 7-3 win over the Flyers on Thursday. AP photo

By
From page B8 | February 28, 2014 |

PHILADELPHIA — The San Jose Sharks made a simple change to rally for a comeback victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. They started shooting the puck.

Joe Pavelski had a hat trick to move into a tie for second in the NHL in goals and the Sharks beat Philadelphia, 7-3, on Thursday in the first game for both teams following the Olympic break.

Raffi Torres and Logan Couture each scored twice in their return to San Jose’s lineup following injuries.

The Sharks trailed 2-1 after getting outshot 10-4 in the first period, but made a pointed effort to shoot the puck in the second period and it paid off in a big way, resulting in five second-period goals on 16 shots.

“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, one of the Sharks’ four Olympians, scored all three of his goals in the dominating second period. Torres, who was making his 2013-14 debut after injuring his knee in the preseason, capped the second-period spree with his second goal of the game with 2.2 seconds left. Couture, who missed the previous 16 games due to hand surgery, netted his 15th goal of the season in the period.

“We didn’t have a lot of purpose in our game in the first period, especially in their zone,” said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. “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.”

Andrej Meszaros had a highlight-reel tally and Matt Read and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Flyers, who had won four straight before the Olympic break.

The Flyers netted a pair of goals within a 22-second span midway through the first period to take a 2-1 lead. Meszaros, one of five Flyers who participated in the Olympics, opened the Philadelphia scoring with 9:24 remaining in the opening period. Alex Stalock, San Jose’s backup goalie who started in place of Olympian Antti Niemi, saved Meszaros’ initial shot from the point, but Steve Downie pushed the rebound to Meszaros, who shot the puck between his own legs and past Stalock from close range.

Schenn put Philadelphia ahead 2-1 when he backhanded the puck from behind the net off the skate of Jason Demers and past Stalock with 9:02 remaining in the first period.

But it was all San Jose in the second period.

Pavelski scored from close range on the power play 4:23 into the period and then gave San Jose the lead for good with 9:48 remaining in the period when he deflected Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the point past Steve Mason that made it 3-2. Mason was lifted 35 seconds later when Couture tallied on a rebound after the Flyers goalie dropped a shot that he initially gloved. Mason gave up four goals on his first 13 shots.

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