SAN JOSE -- There's using your head, and then there's what Sharks captain Joe Pavelski did Wednesday night.
Standing in front of the net on San Jose's first power play of a first-round playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights, Pavelski redirected Brent Burns' point shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead with 5:18 remaining in the first period. Pavelski didn't employ his signature deflection, however, as the puck bounced in the net off of his face.
Pavelski just scored a goal off his face 😳 pic.twitter.com/ipa37ZZWrQ— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) April 11, 2019
Pavelski skated to the Sharks' tunnel immediately after the goal and did not return to the ice or San Jose's bench for the remainder of the first period. He returned to the bench early in the second with a jaw guard, and took his first shift within the first four minutes of the middle frame.
Captain America wears a shield pic.twitter.com/l2nv3p0CnV— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) April 11, 2019
The 34-year-old led the Sharks with 38 goals in the regular season and missed seven games down the stretch after sustaining a lower-body injury on March 16. San Jose went 1-5-1 in his absence.
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He returned for the last three games of the regular season, and ultimately gave the Sharks their first lead of the postseason. Pavelski's goal will count the same as any of his goals through the remainder of the playoffs, but it doesn't mean he'll want to do that again.