Joe Pavelski injury update: Sharks captain (head) could return in second round

Joe Pavelski might be back for the second round, coach Peter DeBoer said Wednesday.

“He’s getting better every day. He was Facetiming us after the game last night so he’s feeling better,” DeBoer said. “I think we’re all excited about the progress he’s making, so I wouldn’t say he’s not going to be available, no.”

Pavelski, 34, currently is listed as day-to-day with a head injury, but no official announcement has been made yet on his status for Game 4.

The Sharks lead the series 2-1.

Pavelski suffered the head injury when he took a check from Golden Knights forward Cody Eakin and a subsequent contact from Paul Stastny before hitting his head on the ice after he fell during San Jose’s 5-4 double-overtime Game 7 win last week. He was left bloody on the ice before he was helped off by teammates.

San Jose was down 3-0 at that point in the third period, but due to a five-minute major handed to Eakin for the foul, the Sharks went on the power play and scored four unanswered goals to take the lead with minutes left to go.

Vegas would tie the game back up 4-4, but San Jose ultimately won in overtime.

The play drew some controversy as Eakin was ultimately called for the penalty for a shot to the head when, upon review, it was seen he caught Pavelski in the chest.

Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault had some harsh words about the incident after the game.

“It’s a f—ing joke. To call five minutes for that? It changed the whole outcome of the game,” Marchessault said. “Like, seriously, what is that? It’s so disappointing. The game’s not even close. It’s 3-0. Call a (two-minute minor)? OK. But a five? For something you don’t even see? You just call the outcome. It’s a f—ing joke. It’s embarrassing. That’s what it is.”

The officials from the game in question are not working the second round of the playoffs.