NHL playoffs 2019: Sharks’ Joe Pavelski scores goal off mouth in Game 1 vs. Golden Knights

After a regular season in which his goal scoring was revived, San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski was looking for a similar rebirth in the postseason, and while he now has a 2019 NHL Stanley Cup playoff goal under his belt, it probably did not happen the way he expected.

Pavelski was standing alone atop the crease Wednesday when Brent Burns fired a shot from the point during the first period. The shot deflected off Pavelski’s face and past Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

While the goal gave the Sharks the all-important 1-0 lead, Pavelski left the game for a good amount of time after the puck appeared to hit him in the mouth. He returned less than two minutes into the second period with a swollen mouth and a shield to protect his lower face.

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Pavelski now has 45 goals in 122 playoff games. He netted 38 goals and 26 assists in the 2018-19 regular season — his first 30-plus-goal season since he scored 38 in 2015-16.

Later in the second, the Sharks’ Timo Meier took a stick to the face from Jon Merrill and had to go the locker room for repairs; he returned, as well.

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