Sharks

Sharks

You couldn't script it any better.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski returned from a six-game injury absence Wednesday night for Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche, and it didn't take him long to remind everyone of just how important he is to San Jose's operation in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Just under six minutes into the first period of the second-round series finale, Pavelski scored in the most Pavelski way possible, deflecting a shot from the point past netminder Philipp Grubauer and into the back of Colorado's net.

Pavelski's goal gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

When the lineups were announced prior to the start of the game, his name easily received the loudest ovation at SAP Center.

It might not have matched the ovation Pavelski received after his goal, though.

It was Pavelski's first action since he left Game 7 of the first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights with a head injury. The resulting 5-minute major penalty called on Vegas opened San Jose's epic comeback from a three-goal deficit and an eventual overtime win.