The San Jose Sharks came back from a 3-0 third period deficit, eventually beating the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 in overtime to win Game 7 of their first-round series and advance in the NHL playoffs.
The comeback was sparked by a five-minute major penalty called on Cody Eakin after he cross-checked Sharks captain Joe Pavelski with just under 11 minutes to play, sending Pavelski to the ice and leaving him knocked out and bleeding.
Sharks Capitalize on Major Penalty
At the time, the Sharks were down 3-0 and had done little to suggest that they would find a way back into the game. But the five-minute power play saw San Jose score four times in just over four minutes, with Logan Couture scoring twice while Thomas Hertl and Kevin Labanc each netted a goal.
“The group rallied,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer told reporters after the game. “Joe Thorton spoke up. Logan Couture. I think they saw a guy they love and respect in some distress and wanted to do what they could to help the situation, which was try and get some goals and get us back in the game. And they did that.”
Once the power play was over, the Golden Knights didn’t fold. After San Jose had a successful penalty kill of their own late in the third period, Vegas pulled Marc-Andre Fleury. That resulted in a goal for forward Jonathan Marchessault with under a minute remaining in regulation, sending the decisive game to overtime.
Goodrow Nets Game Winner in OT
Both teams had their chances in the overtime period. But with less than two minutes to go, it was fourth line winger Barclay Goodrow who made the breakthrough, deking past Fleury for the winning goal.
“To be honest I can’t really remember what just happened,” Goodrow said afterwards. “It was a pretty surreal moment. Definitely the biggest goal of my career, obviously.”
In the locker room after the game, the Golden Knights remained in disbelief over the call that gave San Jose the five-minute power play that changed the game.
“To call five minutes for that? It changed the whole outcome of the game,” Marchessault told reporters. “Like, seriously, what is that? It’s so disappointing. The game’s not even close. It’s 3-0. Call a [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.”
“They said he cross-checked him across the face, and as we all saw, that didn’t happen,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “It was an awful call. We’ve all seen it. It’s too bad we end up losing because of that because we’re in control of the hockey game.”
The Sharks will now play the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Sharks are a 5/1 pick to win the Stanley Cup according to Ladbrokes, while Colorado is listed at 15/2.