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Pavelski's 2nd-period hat trick leads Sharks in rout

by Staff

Wells Fargo Center continues to be a home away from home for the San Jose Sharks.

San Jose scored five times in the second period, including a hat trick by Joe Pavelski, in a 7-3 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. The Sharks have won their past six visits to Philadelphia and haven't lost there since Dec. 21, 2000.

Logan Couture and Raffi Torres each scored two goals for the Sharks, who are 4-1-0 in their past five games and moved within five points of the Anaheim Ducks for the Pacific Division lead.

Pavelski scored three goals in a 9:47 span of the second period. His career-high 32nd goal completed his second hat trick of the season and put the Sharks ahead 5-2.

Couture, playing his first game since Jan. 5 because of a hand injury, scored with the Sharks shorthanded between Pavelski's second and third goals. Torres, playing his first game since last season's Western Conference Semifinals, scored his second goal with 2.2 seconds left in the second period for a 6-2 lead.

Eleven Sharks had at least one point during the period, when San Jose outshot Philadelphia 16-8.

"It was just a lot of guys looked like they were pretty fresh out there," Pavelski said. "We had some good looks throughout the team, and then you look at a couple goals, they were just going in tonight."

Couture scored a shorthanded goal at 4:20 of the third to put San Jose up 7-2.

The loss snapped Philadelphia's four-game winning streak.

"We had a full week of practice to make sure we were ready for this, and I thought our effort was pretty crappy overall," goalie Steve Mason said.

The game was each team's first since the 2014 Sochi Olympics ended. Four Sharks and five Flyers participated in the Olympics, and of the nine Olympians, Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was the only healthy scratch.

The Sharks' outburst in the second period was similar to the Flyers' rally in San Jose on Feb. 3, when Philadelphia scored four unanswered goals in the third period for a 5-2 win.

Torres, who injured his knee in a preseason game against the Ducks, got the Sharks on the board when he knocked home a rebound from the top of the crease 4:25 into the first period. He beat Flyers forward Michael Raffl to the puck after it fluttered in the air following a save by Mason on Jason Demers' point shot.

"I feel good. It's a good feeling to get on the board early there," Torres said.

The Flyers controlled the rest of the period. Andrej Meszaros tied it at 10:36 on a nice feed by Steve Downie following a rebound of Meszaros' initial wrist shot from the left circle. It was the Slovakian defenseman's fifth goal, his fourth in nine games.

Philadelphia grabbed a 2-1 lead 22 seconds later when Brayden Schenn backhanded the puck off Demers' skate into the net at 10:58.

The Flyers outshot the Sharks 10-5 in the first. Philadelphia carried the play for the first few minutes of the second period too, but then San Jose took over.

''We didn't have a lot of purpose in our game in the first period, especially in their zone,'' Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. ''Kind of skating around waiting for something to happen. We got our forecheck going in the second (and) a lot more pucks to the goaltender, which created second and third chances."

Pavelski tied it 2-2 on a power-play goal with Raffl in the penalty box for tripping Sharks forward Adam Burish. He beat Mason with a wrist shot after a smooth move in tight at 4:23.

Pavelski put the Sharks on top for good a little less than six minutes later when he deflected a point shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic past Mason following a turnover by Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann.

"We almost looked like we stopped competing after they tied the game up," Flyers coach Craig Berube said.

Berube pulled Mason in favor of Ray Emery after Couture's first goal put the Sharks ahead 4-2 with 9:13 left in the second. Mason stopped nine of 13 shots before being pulled in the second, then stopped all three shots he faced after he was put back in the game with less than 10 minutes left in the third when Emery had what Berube labeled an "issue."

Pavelski completed the hat trick at 14:10 of the second with a snap shot past Emery, who stopped 11 of the 14 shots he faced in 20:02.

Pavelski scored four goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-4 win on Jan. 18, his first career hat trick.

Couture nearly joined Pavelski with a hat trick when he appeared to tuck the puck in to Emery's right at 8:49 of the third, but a video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck completely crossed the goal line.

"I saw a goal. I'm not sure how that's not a goal," Couture said. "I'll have to find out."

Matt Read snapped San Jose's string of six unanswered goals when he beat Alex Stalock with 7:48 left for his 16th goal. Stalock stopped 27 of 30 shots and is 9-4-0.

Mason was 4-1-0 with a 1.41 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in his five prior games.

San Jose will play the second of its three-game road trip at the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. Philadelphia will host the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

"I expect a big game against the Rangers. I really do," Berube said. "They're embarrassed. We're all embarrassed from it tonight."

Material from team media was used in this report

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