Sharks Captain Joe Pavelski scored a goal after a puck was knocked right into his mouth
Sometimes in sports, success can lead to injury — which is exactly what NHL player Joe Pavelski learned during a game on Wednesday night.
Pavelski, the San Jose Sharks captain, scored the first goal of the game against the Vegas Golden Knights. However, the 34-year-old did not come out unscathed, as he lost several of his teeth when a shot from teammate Bret Burns knocked off Pavelski’s jaw and into the goal.
“I feel all right,” Pavelski told reporters after the game, according to ESPN. “But enough with the dental questions.”
The incident occurred at around 14:42 of the first period and Pavelski was focused on scoring a goal when the puck came flying into his mouth.
“I saw Burnsy had it,” he said, ESPN reported. “Sometimes, there’s a shot. Sometimes, there’s not. It kinda looked like he was trying to release it, and I didn’t even see it come off his stick.”
The puck flew off Pavelski’s mouth and over Knight’s goalie Marc-André Fleury to score the first point of the game.
Following the blow to his face, he skated off to the Sharks’ training room, receiving cheers from fans for the unconventional goal. After getting stitches, he returned to the game in the second period, ESPN reported.
The Sharks were ultimately victorious over the Golden Knights 5-2, according to USA Today, and Pavelski’s teammates were impressed but unsurprised at his heroic return following the injury.
“We were pretty confident that he shakes off those kinds of things,” said Sharks forward Timo Meier, according to ESPN. “He’s a leader. He does everything for the team.”
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer described Pavelski as “tough as nails,” saying to reporters, “You take a puck to the face like that and doesn’t go down. There’s no other word for it. He’s a warrior.”
The Sharks victory, thanks in large part due to Pavelski’s dental sacrifice, gives them a 1-0 lead in the Sharks-Golden Knights game series.