Pavelski scored his second goal of the game with two seconds remaining on a two-man advantage in the third period in a 3-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Wednesday. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made 28 saves for his 30th career shutout.
Pavelski scored his 19th goal with a one-timer from the left circle at 1:59 of the third off a pass from Brent Burns. It came with Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler in the penalty box.
"We were just in the moment, and I didn't really realize we had two seconds left," Pavelski said. "It's nice to see it go in. We were pressing there. We wanted to score. We wanted to get that [2-0] lead. In a situation like that, you've got find a way to make the team pay."
Getzlaf was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the second period after he threw his stick at the Anaheim bench on his way to the dressing room. Kesler and Perry each was called for roughing San Jose forward Tommy Wingels at the end of the second.
It was Pavelski's fifth goal against the Ducks this season; he has scored in all four games against Anaheim.
"I don't know," Pavelski said with a laugh when asked to explain his success against Anaheim. "I'm playing with some good players. A few power-play goals. A few tips. That one I finally got on [Ducks goalie Frederik] Andersen in the 5-on-3 was the first one I shot."
"[Thornton's] fine," McLellan said. "He'll be OK. … We've got a couple of days before we play again. I know [Thornton] pretty well. He won't be out very long."
The Sharks (20-13-5) were coming off a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. The win ended a two-game skid; it was the first time San Jose had suffered consecutive regulation losses since Nov. 9-11.
It was the third time this season San Jose ended a losing streak by defeating Anaheim.
"I don't know what about this team or this series gets us up more than other series," Wingels said. "It's kind of something we have to look at and find what gets us excited and motivated and bring that every night."
Perry returned to the Ducks lineup after missing 10 games because of a sprained knee, but it was a mostly frustrating night. Anaheim (24-9-6) hit two posts, and Patrick Maroon shot wide on an empty net in the first period.
The Ducks gave the Sharks' fourth-ranked power play eight opportunities, including three in the first period. In addition to Getzlaf, defenseman Sami Vatanen was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for banging his stick in the third period.
"We've got to be more composed and keep our mouths shut," Andersen said.
Perry and Kesler took exception to Wingels' hit on Perry at the end of the second. Getzlaf didn't hold back his frustration, but did hold himself accountable for his stick toss.
"I accept full responsibility for my role in that," he said. "That was my fault. That won't happen again."
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau struck a similar tone.
"When you take nine or 10 penalties, you're not going to win hockey games," Boudreau said. "Three or four of those penalties were just not smart penalties. We've got to stay disciplined and focused. This is the kind of game you're going to get come March, April and beyond. If you get rattled because the calls are going against you, you're going to be in trouble."
Pavelski gave San Jose a 1-0 lead 4:33 into the game when Marc-Edouard Vlasic's shot went in off his skate.
Logan Couture scored into an empty net with 2:05 left in the game. It was his 14th goal.
McLellan liked what he saw from his Sharks against their Pacific Division foe.
"Discipline, composure," McLellan said. "I thought we had a dose of it when we needed it. They put us on the power play for almost 13 minutes, and that certainly worked to our advantage - not only scoring, but also took away from their ability to attack and wear them out a little bit that way."
San Jose's power play put 10 shots on goal, but came up empty largely because of Andersen. In his 24th start in the past 25 games, Andersen made a right-to-left save on Patrick Marleau on the first penalty kill and consecutive saves on Tomas Hertl and James Sheppard on the second kill.
Anaheim right wing Tim Jackman returned after he missed three games with an upper-body injury.
It was the Ducks' first home loss since Nov.28 against the Chicago Blackhawks.