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Sharks still easing Havlat back into action

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com
DETROIT -- After assisting on Logan Couture's shorthanded goal in a 3-1 victory against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, Sharks forward Martin Havlat has some wondering if he and Couture might soon see more time on the penalty kill.

Havlat has played just three games after missing the first four with an upper-body injury, but he's got 3 assists and a plus-1 rating while playing catch-up from a physical standpoint. Couture, meanwhile, is off to a solid start, with 2 goals and 2 assists in seven games.

"(Havlat's) into basically exhibition game No. 4 tonight (against Detroit), whereas everybody else is a month ahead of him," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We're going to manage his minutes and put him in situations that we think he can be successful. We talked about maybe taking some of the penalty-killing minutes away from some of our bigger players and distributing them evenly. Logan could potentially be one of those guys. So, yeah, they will get penalty-killing time. Yes, the goal was very important and we needed it, but for now we'll continue to manage it the way we are."

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