Joe Pavelski had a pair of goals and an assist Saturday night as San Jose polished off St. Louis 5-3 in a game that saw the sellout crowd of 17,562 leave HP Pavilion thinking they'd seen Pavelski get a hat trick.
However, after the game, the Sharks' second goal was taken away from Pavelski and credited to Patrick Marleau. Still, Pavelski has 3 goals and 11 points in San Jose's last four games.
"The points are coming, and we're playing good," Pavelski said. "It's not just points, it's offensive time. We feel good with the puck, the line's been playing good and it's led to chances."
"It feels good to have the puck."
San Jose jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 7:41 and thoroughly dominated the Blues, who were playing their third game in four days on a California road trip. But there was more of a cause for concern than celebration when rookie Logan Couture had to be helped to the locker room early in the second period with an apparent right leg injury.
"Logan's situation is lower body and day to day," said assistant coach Trent Yawney, who handled the bench while coach Todd McLellan attended the funeral of his brother-in-law.
Couture was unable to put any weight on his leg as teammates Ryane Clowe and Ben Eager helped him off the ice after his skate slammed into the end boards 1:04 into the second.
"You could see he was in pain," Pavelski said. "He's meant a lot to this team. He's been great. He brings a lot of energy to our team. But we have guys who are more than capable of stepping up. We hope it's nothing serious. Hopefully he doesn't even miss a day. If it is (serious), hopefully he's back before crunch time gets going."
Torrey Mitchell and Devin Setoguchi also scored and Antti Niemi made 42 saves for the Sharks, who have won three in a row following a three-game losing streak to move within two points of Detroit for second place in the Western Conference.
"I think they have been doing everything that Todd has been preaching over the course of, probably the last month," Yawney said, "and I thought we shot the puck early, I thought we broke them down by shooting the puck."
T.J. Hensick scored his first goal in more than 16 months and David Backes and Andy McDonald added third-period scores for the Blues, who had won four of six.
"We didn't have the right amount of detail in our positional play earlier, against a team that can possess the puck in your own zone like San Jose can," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "We got on the wrong side of people and gave up the first goal on d-zone coverage."
Much of the energy left the building after Couture's injury. He has been one of San Jose's most consistent performers all season, with a franchise rookie-record 27 goals, including eight game-winners.
Niemi and Pavelski helped make sure the Sharks didn't lose the game as well as Couture after Hensick got credit for his first goal since Nov. 8, 2009, when he kicked a puck off Douglas Murray's skate at 8:19 of the middle period to cut San Jose's lead to 3-1.
Niemi made a couple of tough saves, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic cleared a puck off the goal line to preserve the two-goal lead. Setoguchi restored the three-goal advantage at 12:30 of the middle period when his shot deflected off Blues defender Roman Polak and past Ty Conklin to make it 4-1.
Pavelski iced the game when he deflected Dan Boyle's shot into the net for his second goal of the night with 5.3 seconds remaining in the period.
The Sharks scored three times in less than four minutes in the opening period to knock out Jaroslav Halak two nights after he shut out the Kings 4-0 in Los Angeles.
Mitchell put the rebound of Pavelski's shot over a sprawling Halak to make it 1-0 just 4:03 into the game.
Halak was called for delay of game 31 seconds later and San Jose took advantage immediately. Pavelski won the draw and the puck worked its way back to Marleau, whose shot from inside the blue line beat Halak 11 seconds into the power play. Pavelski made it 3-0 by scoring on another power play at 7:41, ending Halak's night.
"Back-to-back power-play goals really kind of put us in a tough spot," Payne said. "There were times we pushed in the first period I thought Niemi made some real good saves that could have got us back into that game earlier."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
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3 - 1 SJS
4 - 1 SJS
5 - 1 SJS
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5 - 3 SJS
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