Joe Pavelski broke a third period tie with a pair of scores and the Sharks struck for three power play goals in a 4-2 win over the Flyers on Wednesday at SAP Center.
Pavelski tallied the game-winner with 6:15 to go in regulation. Just as a Sharks power play was expiring, he angled in a cross-ice pass through the slot by Justin Braun to put the Sharks ahead to stay.
The captain put it away in the final minute on the power play, lifting in a backhander with 48.4 seconds to go. It was his team-leading 20th goal.
San Jose, which trailed 2-1 early in the third, improved to 5-10 at home and snapped a four-game losing streak.
The game was knotted at 1-1 after two periods when, unsurprisingly, Brent Burns factored in a pair of third period goals, one by each team.
The Flyers took their first lead at 4:19, when a group of white jerseys pounced on Burns, who was adventuring with the puck in the offensive zone with no defensive support behind him. The result was a Sean Couturier breakaway, and Couturier froze Martin Jones before sliding in his sixth goal to give Philadelphia a 2-1 edge.
Moments earlier, Jones kept it a 1-1 game when he denied Michael Raffl on a breakaway after Braun’s misplay.
Burns re-tied the game with his 15th marker, leading all NHL defensemen. With R.J. Umberger off on a slash, Burns was the recipient of a slick backhanded pass by Logan Couture before whooshing in a low shot that breezed past Steve Mason at 5:54.
Couture, playing in his first game after missing seven straight due to injury, assisted on two of San Jose’s power play goals. It was just his sixth game of the season.
The Sharks improved to 1-1 on their five-game homestand. They are 16-1-2 in their last 19 games against the Flyers, including a 1-0 overtime win on Nov. 19 in Philadelphia.
After a scoreless first, the Sharks struck for a power play goal midway through the second. Joe Thornton chipped the puck over Mason’s near shoulder at 9:53, for his fifth power play marker and seventh overall.
Flyers captain Claude Giroux tied it on a heads up play in the faceoff circle, when he whacked an offensive zone draw through Jones at 15:49. The Flyers’ leading scorer snapped out of a five-game pointless streak with the abnormal marker, which Jones didn’t seem ready for.
Earlier in the game, Thornton seemed extra energized after a hit from Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas. The two were whistled for coincidental unsportsmanlike minors at 13:38 of the first period, when the lined up across from one another on a faceoff and exchanged stick whacks.
The Flyers’ Chris VandeVelde was forced from the game with 7:08 to go in the third, when Burns delivered what appeared to be a shoulder to the head of the Flyers’ forward, leaving him dazed. No penalty was called on the play, and the Sharks took the lead soon after on Pavelski’s score.
San Jose is 5-0 when scoring first at home, and 0-10 when surrendering the opening marker.
Sparked by Couture’s return to the top unit, the Sharks finished 3-for-6 on the power play. San Jose is 9-for-23 with a man advantage in its last six games.
The Sharks penalty kill, which began the night last overall in the league at home after giving up four goals to Colorado on Monday, was 3-for-3.
Jones started for the ninth time in the last 10, and recorded his 16th win with 17 saves.
Mason was the surprise starter after expected starter Michal Neuvirth fell ill. He allowed four goals on 33 shots.
San Jose iced its healthiest lineup to date, with no injuries listed.
Thornton increased his point streak to seven games. He has three goals and six assists for nine points over that span.
Philadelphia’s Mark Streit returned on defense after missing 19 games with a groin injury.
Earlier in the day defenseman Matt Tennyson played for the AHL Barracuda on a conditioning assignment. The defenseman has not played for the Sharks since Dec. 8.
The Sharks remain at home for their next three games, hosting the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. It’s the first of three games between the clubs, as San Jose will look to improve on its 1-5-1 record against the Central Division.