With Nathan MacKinnon out and Joe Pavelski red-hot, the Sharks doubled their first-period lead in Wednesday's Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Tomas Hertl gave San Jose a 2-0 lead in the last game of the Stanley Cup playoff second-round series on an assist from -- who else -- Pavelski.

The Sharks captain dished a pass from behind the Avalanche net, and Hertl did the rest with 8:25 remaining in the first period at SAP Center.

In his first period back from a scary head injury he sustained in Game 7 of the Sharks' Stanley Cup playoff first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights, Pavelski clinched his 23rd career multi-point playoff game. He has about two periods left to seal his ninth career three-point game, and to help push the Sharks into the Western Conference final, where the St. Louis Blues await.

The Avalanche cut the lead in half with a goal at the end of the first period, and Hertl's Pavelski-assisted marker stood as the difference headed into the first intermission.