Chomp chomp: the San Jose Sharks won Game Seven of their series against the Vegas Golden Knights in one of the most surprising, eventful, and entertaining comebacks in the Stanley Cup playoff history.
The Sharks were trailing 2-0 entering the third period, lost their captain to injury, then scored four times on the ensuing five-minute powerplay to take things to overtime. Ultimately last year’s Stanley Cup runner-ups exited in the first round.
Knights’ head coach Gerrard Gallant said that this particular loss was worse than losing in the Stanley Cup Final, while Sharks’ head coach Peter DeBoer said it was “the craziest game I’ve ever seen.” Both coaches are right.
The Sharks were trailing 3-0 halfway through the third period when the tide changed. Cody Eakin delivered a crosscheck to Joe Pavelski after a faceoff, and Paul Stastny pushed Pavelski as he was falling. The Sharks’ captain hit his head on the ice, where he stayed down until he was helped off the ice by his teammates. He didn’t return to the game.
It did not look good. “We love him so much,” Thornton said after the game. “You never want to see a teammate get hurt like that. It’s a tough break for him. So you hold him as hard you can, get him off the ice and get him better.”
There is plenty of chatter all over the internet about whether the penalty should’ve been five minutes or not, especially given the fact that neither referee called anything originally, but the referees decided it was a five-minute major and game misconduct.
“They said he cross-checked him across the face, and as we all saw, that didn’t happen,” Gallant said after. “There was no high-stick that hit him in the face. When Stastny came out, he fell and banged his head on the ice. That’s the unfortunate part of it. 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.”
— Jesse Merrick (@JesseNews3LV) April 24, 2019
Jonathan Marchessault was not holding back in his post-game comments. “To call five minutes for that? It changed the whole outcome of the game. Like, seriously, what is that? It’s so disappointing. The game’s not even close. It’s 3-0. Call a two? OK. But a five? For something you don’t even see? You just call the outcome. It’s a fucking joke. It’s embarrassing. That’s what it is.”
Regardless of whether or not the call was justified, five minutes were put on the powerplay clock, and the Sharks were off. The first goal came from Logan Couture six seconds in, the second goal from Tomas Hertl, the third from Logan AGAIN, and the fourth from Kevin Labanc. ALL DURING THE FIVE MINUTE POWER PLAY.
— NHL (@NHL) April 24, 2019
The NHL gamecenter box score literally looks like this:
The comeback would ultimately bring the Sharks to the top, but it was the Knights’ final goal from Jonathan Marchessault that tied the game up once again, sending things to overtime.
— Hockey Daily #StickTogether (@HockeyDaily365) April 24, 2019
Overtime was NO MATCH for the creatures of the sea. With 1:41 left in overtime, Barclay Goodrow (can’t get over this name) tossed the puck behind Marc Andre-Fleury and sent the Golden Knights home.
— x – San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) April 24, 2019
The Knights were none too pleased about the five minute major to Eakin that cost them the game and the series. “Was it stolen? Yeah. It was 3-0,” Marchessault told reporters after the game.
Jonathon Marchessault’s take on game 7…
— Knights Guild (@VGKKNIGHTS) April 24, 2019
The Knights lost the first Game Seven the franchise has faced, while the Sharks won what’s probably their 90th Game Seven judging by the length of Jumbo Joe Thornton’s grizzled beard. The Sharks will now face a well-rested Avalanche team in the second round.
Our jaws were on the floor while watching this game. What a gosh dang treat.
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