SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With Patrick Marleau a last-minute scratch, the San Jose Sharks needed someone to step up and provide offense in Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinal against the Detroit Red Wings at HP Pavilion on Thursday night.
Enter Joe Pavelski.
The team's "second-line" center was again sensational, as he tallied his sixth and seventh goals of the playoffs in a 4-3 victory as the Sharks took a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven series.
Pavelski, who represented the United States at the Olympics in February, spoke with the media after the game.
Q: The power play came up big tonight. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Pavelski: We had good net-front presence. There was urgency on it. We won the battles and pucks got to the net. We were able to contribute. Special teams is big. Five-on-three, you've got to score on those, or at least create a lot of momentum off it. It was big for us.
Q: Do you guys think you sent a message to Detroit with this victory?
Pavelski: You've just got to be prepared. When you lose that first game, the desperation goes up. It's important for us to realize not to take steps back. It was good to finally win a first game at home and reward our fans for the atmosphere they've given us here. No one is going to quit in this series.
Q: You guys scored three goals in a span of 1:19. What were you guys doing right?
Pavelski: It was exciting. That happens once in a while, where you just get that momentum. You definitely keep building on it. Three goals isn't safe by any means. They battled back. Every time we pulled away a little bit, they came back. We answered the bell.
Q: How confident are you right now when you have the puck? Is this the best you've ever felt from a confidence standpoint?
Pavelski: At times, it feels good. There are moments early in the game where you think you hear something or you make a play where you want it back because you know you can make it better. That's the way it goes. You've just got to respond.
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL