The Sharks are right back in this series after picking up a huge victory in Game 3.
As the saying goes in soccer, game on.
The San Jose Sharks find themselves right back in the thick of the Stanley Cup Final after Joonas Donskoi scored the game-winning goal at the 12:18 mark of the first overtime period as the Sharks knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 3-2 final to cut their series deficit in half.
It was a huge effort from the boys in teal, who were without the services of Tomas Hertl after the 22-year-old forward was unable to go with a lower-body injury.
However, San Jose was able to rally together behind a raucous crowd at SAP Center that was tremendous all night long.
Let’s take a look back at how the Sharks were able to sneak by the Penguins in Game 3:
1. Joel Ward Continues Clutch Play
Ward only added to his reputation as a playoff performer on Saturday night as he literally blasted the Sharks right back into Game 3.
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In the waning moments of a four-minute power play in which San Jose had some close calls but couldn’t convert, Ward took matters into his own hands.
As he skated just across the Pittsburgh blue line, he decided to wind up and unless a booming slap shot that found its way past Matt Murray. The goal tied the game for team teal and would set the stage for Donskoi’s heroics in overtime.
Just add another check mark to the playoff resume for Ward.
2. Martin Jones
The unflappable Jones just continues to do his thing between the pipes for San Jose.
After a few jitters early in Game 3, including a misplay behind the net on Pittsburgh’s first goal, Jones settled in nicely and has been rock solid for team teal.
Jones added another 40 saves to his name last night as he’s only gotten stronger as the postseason has progress as evidenced by this tweet from Darin Stephens.
Jones has been the best player in a Sharks sweater all series long and will need to continue his stout play as San Jose looks to mount a comeback in these Finals.
3. Sharks Getting Better As Series Progresses
While the skewed shot totals might suggest otherwise, San Jose has actually gotten better with each game.
The Penguins speed and relentless attack continues to pose problems for the Sharks, especially early in games, but San Jose has done a nice job settling in and establishing their game.
The Sharks were able to create a forechecking presence and hem the Penguins in at different points in the contest. While they still need to work on eliminating the turnovers in their own zone and cleaner break outs, team teal is starting to figure some things out. They’re pushing back with a greater intensity and are beginning to create more chances themselves.
They’ll look to continue that momentum into a pivotal Game 4 tomorrow night as San Jose looks to even this series up at two before heading back to Pittsburgh.