Consider The Sharks 'Over' The Avalanche For Game 7

Joonas Donskoi ended a 39-game goal drought, Martin Jones made 14 of his 27 saves in the third period and the Sharks capitalized on a favorable replay review that negated a potential game-tying goal by Colorado in the second period.

The Sharks lead the goal department by the slimmest of margins, outscoring the Avalanche by a 17-16 margin overall and 13-12 during 5-on-5 on play. Here is how each team can win and how to view the total. The Sharks certainly have looked like the better team throughout the series, but now find themselves on the verge of elimination.

Nothing has come easy for the San Jose Sharks this postseason.

Fortunately, the Sharks could be in line for a major momentum-changer and difference-maker to return to their starting lineup.

In what could be a fairy-tale homecoming for the ages, captain Joe Pavelski is expected to be a game-time decision for the Sharks Game 7 matchup on Wednesday. He was cross-checked by Cody Eakin after a faceoff and then bumped by Paul Stastny before falling awkwardly to the ice head first.

However since then, the Sharks have evidently missed their fallen captain. The Avalanche had to knock off the top seed in the West, Calgary, in the first round and has never led in this series with the Sharks taking all the odd-numbered games and Colorado answering after that.

If anything, his legacy has only grown following his recent injury.

On one hand, the Sharks have to like that they have been able to control the territorial edge, but they can't like the fact they are giving up as many chances as they are.

Pavelski now has five points in Game 7s and is 5-2 all-time in those contests.

Pavelski has become a hero, and we could only imagine the reception that he will receive from San Jose faithful if he were to return on Wednesday night. He made an emotional appearance at the Shark Tank during the third period of Game 5 to fire up the crowd and traveled to Denver for Game 6 where he took part in the morning skate. The veteran-laden cast has survived a pair of Game 7 scenarios already this spring. Forget home-ice advantage, this would be home-ice supremacy. But from an on-ice performance standpoint, his presence could be just as significant. Colorado's other lines have played well, but the best players have to set the tone.

The Sharks have used Pavelski for motivation during their playoff run. That won't work in the series finale unless the forwards also have three for San Jose.

By the time he returned after receiving an injection to numb the pain, his team was trailing by two. The Sharks have gone 30-18 here at home and they have averaged 3.67 gpg and have allowed 2.85 gpg in those games. Colorado is seeking it's first trip to the Western Conference Finals since 2001/02. But to do so, they will need the help of their fearless leader, Joe Pavelski.

  • Rosalie Stanley