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TJ Galiardi's hard work with Sharks finally paying off

  • Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, right, of Finland, stops a shot attempt from San Jose Sharks' T.J. Galiardi (21) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN JOSE — TJ Galiardi feels as if he's getting the chance to show what type of player he can really be.

Less than a month after he was a healthy scratch for three straight games, Galiardi has been an important part of the Sharks' seven-game winning streak that has the team in the mix for home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The Sharks will try to wrap up a perfect seven-game homestand Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Dallas Stars.

Galiardi has played each of the last 10 games and has six points and a rating of plus-five.

In Friday's game against Calgary, Galiardi's work along the boards behind the Flames net, where he gained control of the puck from two defenseman, led to the game-winning goal by Joe Pavelski with 2:06 left in the third period.

Galiardi, a Calgary native, received a few text messages from family members in his hometown, "and a couple unhappy texts, too, from buddies who love the Flames."

"Me and Pavs, that's kind of what we've been talking about. That's our range there, right around the net. The wraparounds, the greasy ones," Galiardi said. "But it's been going well, and I think you get rewarded when you get your nose dirty."

Since Pavelski was moved to the third line, he and Galiardi have found some chemistry on the ice, as Galiardi's speed has complemented Pavelski's puck control skills. Pavelski's goal Friday was his fifth in the last seven games.

"It's a lot of fun playing with these guys," said center James Sheppard, who has played on the line with Pavelski and Galiardi since the Sharks dealt Ryane Clowe to the New York Rangers on April 2. "You come off a shift and you feel like the next shift's going to be the one. That's a nice feeling."

The line has also provided a more balanced offensive attack that has allowed coach Todd McLellan to more evenly distribute ice time, as Sunday's game marks the start of a stretch where the Sharks will play six times in 10 days.


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