1. Joonas Donskoi Plays Overtime Hero
San Jose returned home to host their first-ever Stanley Cup finals contest, but it wasn’t in ideal circumstances. The Sharks found themselves trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins by two games to none after dropping a pair of one-goal games in Pittsburgh.
Luckily for team teal, they were welcomed by a raucous crowd inside SAP Center who were ready to will their team to victory.
Once again, it was the Penguins who struck first when Ben Lovejoy’s shot from the point deflected past Martin Jones five-and-a-half minutes into the opening frame. However, the Sharks would answer back about four minutes later when Justin Braun’s wrist shot from the point found its way into the back of the net past a screened Matt Murray as the tilt was tied up at one apiece after the first.
Each team would trade chances in the middle period, but yet again, it was Pittsburgh who would emerge with the lead when Patric Hornqvist tipped one home with 53 seconds remaining as San Jose found themselves in desperation mode.
Things weren’t looking good in the third when the Sharks failed to capitalize on a four-minute power play, but just as it expired, Joel Ward would blast one through Murray to tie the game with more than 11 minutes remaining. It was a huge moment as it brought the building back to life.
With things knotted up after 60 minutes, the two teams would head to overtime for the second-straight game. It was a fast-paced overtime session with each team generating quality looks.
This time it was the Sharks who would find the breakthrough when Joonas Donskoi took the puck from behind the net before wheeling and firing one top shelf on Murray to give San Jose a 3-2 victory.
It was a monumental goal from Donskoi as the Shark Tank exploded in elation. Team teal was right back in the thick of the Stanley Cup Final, and it was one of the most important goals in franchise history. I’ll never forget what it was like to be in the building on that night and hope to be able to experience something similar in the near future.