Sharks

Sharks

Many believe the Vegas Golden Knights received a raw deal in their Game 7 against the Sharks.

Count the Sharks’ captain among them. He’s not mad about it, though.

Joe Pavelski spoke to reporters Sunday for the first time since exiting that April 23 game with an apparent head injury on a cross-check by Vegas’ Cody Eakin. The refs called a 5-minute major penalty on Eakin, and the Sharks, trailing by three goals with just 10:47 left, erased that deficit and more, winning 5-4 in overtime.

None of it would've been possible without that extended 5-on-4 power play, which Pavelski doesn't believe was deserved, even if it was appreciated.

"I've got no issues with that play," Pavelski said, per NHL.com. "Was it a five-minute major? No. I don't think it was. There's different aspects. Am I glad they called it that way? Heck yeah.”

Pavelski, who said he’s “definitely getting closer” to rejoining the Sharks, added he didn’t believe Eakin’s hit came with bad intent and that “the refs have a very tough job with how fast plays happen.”

“Again, glad it was called that way,” Pavelski said. “But then, from that moment on, what the guys did after it, to actually go and do that and score four goals, is … You know … It was a special night. It was one of the tougher nights and one of the better nights at the same time to see and be a part of.”

 

[RELATED: Hertl leads way on both ends in Sharks' Game 5 win]

The Sharks can close their Stanley Cup playoff second-round series with the Colorado Avalanche with a road win in Game 6 on Monday night, and that might mean Pavelski giving the team and its fans more inspiration than he did when he made a surprise appearance during Game 5 at SAP Center.

"For now, definitely everything’s been improving the last four or five days,” said Pavelski, who revealed his head injury required eight staples to close. “I’ve been able to train a little bit and get through some of those training sessions and skate a little bit and start working our way back.”