The Colorado Avalanche came into San Jose’s Shark Tank (aka the SAP Center) for the finale of an intense, back-and-forth Second Round series. The Sharks ultimately proved triumphant, beating the Avalanche 3-2.
The game was intense and much of the pace dictated by close calls and injuries, but captain Joe Pavelski’s fairytale return was the story of the night. The Sharks’ captain was back in the lineup for the first time since Game Seven against the Vegas Golden Knights when he incurred a scary head injury. He opened the scoring in the first period and led his team to victory.
The night started in San Jose with a moment of silence for the school shooting victims at a Colorado STEM school in Highlands Ranch.
The Avs’ strongest skater, Nathan MacKinnon, went awkwardly into the boards a few minutes into the game and headed to the locker room soon after with what seemed to be a shoulder injury.
MacKinnon, who averages around 25-minutes of skating time a night, missed almost the entirety of the period but did return before intermission.
It would be Pavelski who opened the scoring for his team, tipping in a Brent Burns shot from the point.
Tomas Hertl, who assisted on Pavelski’s goal, would net the second of the game with an assist from Pavelski in return.
The Avs’ Mikko Rantanen, who was also an injury concern before the game–he flew in to join the team in the morning after being injured in Monday’s game–scored first for the Avalanche. The Sharks’ Joonas Donskoi got his first goal of the playoff in the second to make it 3-1 Sharks in the second.
Avalanche forward Colin Wilson appeared to score in the second period but was denied after an off-side challenge. Landeskog, who was by the bench about to change, may have had a skate over the blue line.
Unsurprisingly the no-goal call is the subject of some controversy.
Landeskog is clearly standing inside the blue-line upon puck entry by MacKinnon but what confuses me is that the Avs captain is no longer part of the five active players on the ice since he's changing?
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 9, 2019
Tyson Jost scored for the Avalanche in the third period, his third goal in as many games, making the score 3-2 Sharks, but that was as close as the Avs would come to a comback.
The Avs pulled Grubauer with two minutes to go, but despite a flurry of quality offensive chances, Sharks’ goalie Martin Jones made a sequence of highlight reel saves.
The Sharks advance to the Western Conference Finals where they will face St. Louis Blues, who won their Game Seven in a double-overtime thriller on Tuesday.
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