Joe Pavelski's goal with 4.3 seconds left in the third period Tuesday night lifted the San Jose Sharks over the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 for their sixth straight win.
Pavelski received a pretty feed from Timo Meier on a 2-on-1 break and shoveled the puck past Connor Hellebuyck for the winner.
It was yet another heavyweight battle between the Sharks and Jets, just like the previous two contests between the teams. With the win, the Sharks (94 points) maintained their 1-point lead in the Pacific division and Western Conference over Calgary.
Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' second win in as many nights:
San Jose responded after an emotional start: Things really took a turn early on after an unfortunate collision resulted in Radim Simek being helped off the ice, not to return for the rest of the game. With an important member of their blue line sidelined, the entire team -- all four lines included -- needed to step up on the offensive end.
For a team who was playing a tough opponent on the tail end of a back-to-back, you have to admire San Jose’s pushback against a Winnipeg squad who, clearly, had more firepower than the Minnesota Wild. The Sharks did a particularly good job taking over the pace late in the game, helping them take a 4-3 lead early in the third frame.
Aaron Dell passed the test: While there may have been some question as to why Martin Jones didn’t get the start after shutting out the Wild on Monday evening, it did make sense for Dell to start against the Jets in a playoff-like game. He has to get some looks before the regular season is over, and it’s not like he’s going to get that starting against the Florida Panthers next Thursday. Tuesday, in turn, ended up being a good test for him.
Dell looked a bit out of his element when he gave up the Jets’ third goal -- a power-play marker that Kyle Connor roofed into the net. He did a good job after that, stopping some really dangerous looks from Winnipeg, particularly a huge save on Tyler Meyers with less than six minutes to go in regulation. It was too bad he couldn’t stop the tipped shot by Mathieu Perreault that tied the score up 4-4 with 3:38 left in regulation, but Dell hung in to provide a few clutch saves through the remainder of the contest.
Never count this team out: We’ve talked at length about the Sharks’ depth in the latter part of the season. Behind every Sharks’ victory, there seems to be a different skater or two that leads the way and makes a difference. Even before Timo Meier set up Pavelski for that amazing game-winner in the final seconds of regulation, multiple skaters stepped up to put the Sharks in a position to win.
You can go down the list looking at who stepped up for San Jose on the tail end of a tough back-to-back. Marc-Edouard Vlasic responded from Simek’s injury by notching the first goal on the evening. Gustav Nyquist scored two goals -- his first two non-empty-netters as a member of the Sharks. Joe Thornton and Marcus Sorensen also provided San Jose their first lead of the night in the third frame.