SAN JOSE – A day after playing the role of the “warrior,” Joe Pavelski had to do the same thing the rest of us mere mortals would do after taking a puck to the mouth – go to the dentist.
Sharks bench boss Peter DeBoer told the media after Thursday’s practice that Team Teal’s captain had an appointment in the morning to have some dental work done after he took a puck to the mouth in San Jose’s 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. DeBoer didn’t provide any updates on Pavelski’s status, but told NBC Sports California that he “thinks he’s going to be fine.”
Pavelski opened up scoring in Game 1 in insane fashion: By deflecting Brent Burns’ shot into the net off of his face. Pavelski didn’t fall to the ice after getting hit, but very quickly exited the rink and headed straight into the dressing room with a little over five minutes left in the first period.
He rejoined the Sharks on the bench a couple of minutes into the second stanza with a new visor attached to his helmet to shield his injured mouth. When he addressed the press post game, he admitted he had to get a couple of stitches after he left the ice and that "a couple teeth" were missing.
DeBoer previously told the press after Wednesday's game how much it meant for their captain to not just take a puck to the face as he did, but to return and continue having an impact on the game.
“Tough as nails, take a puck to the face like that and didn’t go down. Only missed maybe a shift at the end of the period and played the rest of the game. There’s no other word for it, just – he’s a warrior.”
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Pavelski has registered 92 points (45 goals, 47 assists) in 122 playoff games during his career. He tallied one goal and two assists in six games played against the Golden Knights in last year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Sharks resume their first-round matchup with the Golden Knights on Friday.