In one of the most incredible comebacks you will ever see in NHL playoff history, the San Jose Sharks came back to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7.
San Jose Sharks Comeback Was Unbelievable
It will be discussed for some time as the Sharks were down 3-0 with a little over 10 minutes left in the third period. Then, Cody Eakin took a ridiculous penalty when he cross-checked Joe Pavelski in the faceoff circle. Eakin received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Pavelski was helped to the bench with his head bleeding.
Games 1-7 Recaps/Highlights
Game 1: Pavelski scored off his chin in the first period. The Sharks scored three goals in the middle stanza to pace the scoring. The second period was marred by three penalties by each team. The last period was worse with the physicality increasing for both teams. The Vegas Golden Knights were assessed 26 minutes while the San Jose Sharks got called for 16. The highlight was a heavyweight bout between Evander Kane and Ryan Reaves. The Sharks prevailed 5-2 with Mark Stone scoring both Vegas goals.
Game 2: This wild affair saw the Golden Knights tally three goals within the first 6:11. The home team Sharks rallied back to gather three goals in the last 3:01 to tie the game. It marked the first time in NHL playoff history that a team was able to tie the game after falling behind by three goals in the first period. The other weird event in this game was when Brent Burns thought he put his team ahead early in the second period. The goal was disallowed because of goaltender interference. It marked a turning point in the game as the prolific scorer Mark Stone struck again gave the Golden Knight a lead they never relinquished. Final: Vegas 5, Sharks 3.
Vegas Gets Control
Game 3: The newly acquired Stone domianted the game for the Vegas Golden Knights. He had three goals, and two assists to pace the Golden Knights to an easy 6-3 win. Paul Stastny added two goals and three assists to really stop the Sharks dead in the water. The game’s pace was set early when Stone broke in off a pretty feed from Nate Schmidt scoring just 16 seconds into the game. This gave the Vegas a 2-1 lead in the series.
Game 4: Martin Jones gave up two goals in the first period before being yanked in favor of backup Aaron Dell. It didn’t help as the Vegas team went on to shutout the Sharks 5-0 to take a commanding 3-1 lead after four games. Were the Vegas Golden Knights about to eliminate the San Jose Sharks two years in a row?
The San Jose Sharks Were Not Out Yet
Game 5: With their backs up against the wall the Sharks came through in high form to grab Game 5 by a 5-2 margin. Tomas Hertl scored twice to get the Sharks back in the series after dropping three straight games. Martin Jones made 30 saves en route to a 5-2 win. That carried the Sharks within one game of Vegas who may have thought they were home free.
Game 6: The Vegas Golden Knights just needing a win to eliminate the San Jose Sharks in Game 6. It was a very tightly-fought game with less severe hitting and defence being the deciding factor. After Tomas Hertl vowed the Sharks would be back in San Jose for a Game 7, he went to work to make it happen. Hertl scored a short-handed goal 11:17 into the second overtime period to bring his bold declaration back home. Indeed there will be a Game 7 in this up and down series where when the team who scores first has won every game thus far.
Another strange statistic in this series was goals being scored either in the last two minutes of a period or the first two minutes. Vegas has had two late tallies, while the Sharks have had five. Vegas has been lethal scoring six early goals in a period while San Jose has had just one. All of that is immaterial as it all boils down to a one-game series. Who will win?
Game 7 drama:
What Transpired Next Was Pure Magic
First, it was Logan Couture who scored seven seconds into the five-minute major penalty. He motioned to the bench with one finger to indicate, that’s one. Hertl, the Game 6 hero, followed that up with a tally of his own 49 seconds later. Remember on a major penalty you can score unlimited goals.
San Jose kept it going as it went to Couture again at 12:53 mark to tie the game at three. Just when you thought that was totally insane, Kevin Labanc scored 28 seconds later to make it 4-3! Lebanc had one goal and three assists on the goals that the Sharks scored to tie the game. His four points in one period in a playoff game tied a record.
The comeback was alive and well. However, don’t forget the Vegas Golden Knights don’t go away easily either. The Sharks Labanc took an untimely penalty at the 16:19 mark to give the Golden Knights some life. The Sharks killed off the penalty but Vegas pulled Marc-Andre Fleury for the extra attacker. Jonathan Marchessault tied the game again with just 47 seconds on the clock.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Both teams were exhausted after the overtime Game 6 and that went into the second overtime to be completed.
As is the case in pivotal games like this, an unlikely hero emerges. Barclay Goodrow who had played just 7:26 of the game made a good rush to the net, went wide and beat Fleury on the left post.
Game over, series over. The San Jose Sharks are moving on to face the Colorado Avalanche in the next round of the NHL playoffs.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 23: Barclay Goodrow #23 of the San Jose Sharks scores the game-winning goal against Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime in Game Seven of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 23, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)