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Pavelski won't change style of play for Sharks in Game 2

Intends to be net-front presence against Golden Knights after taking puck to face

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

SAN JOSE -- Joe Pavelski went back to his routine, deflecting shots from defenseman Brent Burns before the San Jose Sharks morning skate on Friday prior to Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Vegas Golden Knights at SAP Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVAS2, NBCSCA, ATTSN-RM).

"It was probably good to get out there today, just to feel it, just to kind of be aware of the puck and everything," Pavelski said.

The forward lost three teeth, had another sheared off and had a couple more cracked when a Burns shot hit him in the mouth and ricocheted into the net in the first period of the Sharks' 5-2 win in Game 1 of the best-of-7 series on Wednesday.

 

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Pavelski returned early in the second period wearing a jaw guard and spent about two hours in a dentist's chair Thursday before the swelling started to subside at night. He did not wear a jaw guard at the morning skate but said he would wear one for at least Game 2. 

"We'll see," Pavelski said. "Just to keep everything in place as far as getting bumped and few things that are still in there. I didn't think it affected me that much. It's not really that important."

Tweet from @cotsonika: Back to work. pic.twitter.com/yP2Mfx7Klt

Pavelski and Burns work on deflecting shots before most practices, and Pavelski is perhaps the best in the NHL at the skill. But Burns' shot was unusually high in Game 1, and Pavelski did not see it in time to get out of the way because of traffic in front. The goal came on the power play and gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

"He didn't really apologize," Pavelski said with a smile. "He kind of told me he thought it went off another guy's glove, so it wasn't his fault. No, I'd want him to shoot it again."

Sharks forward Gustav Nyquist, who was on the ice, said the puck didn't hit him before it struck Pavelski.

"No," Nyquist said. "I felt the air of the puck."

Pavelski seemed embarrassed to talk about it.

"There's a lot of guys that play through a lot of things," Pavelski said. "It's just something that I think you do as hockey players. You've seen guys do it before. You've seen guys on your team do it. Like I said, it's just an exciting time to be playing right now and you try to do what you can to help your team."

Sharks center Joe Thornton played with torn knee ligaments for four games against the Edmonton Oilers in the first round two years ago.

"I just think it's just another day for Joe (Pavelski)," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I mean, this isn't the first injury he's played through. When he watched a guy sitting next to him, [Thornton], play through torn ligaments, I think that's how those guys are wired. So that doesn't surprise me."

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