Last night was a pretty big night for the Sharks and their fans. Not only were the Sharks fighting to not fall behind 0-3 in the series, but the city of San Jose was also getting its first taste of Stanley Cup Finals hockey in the area. Fans were excited, the team was excited and it seemed like the whole city was ready for a thrilling game 3. We were not disappointed.
The first period was a good one, but the Sharks continued to struggle with getting pucks on Murray. San Jose was outshot 6-14 in the first twenty, but made their shots count, getting a goal off of one of those. The goal came from defenseman Justin Braun 9:34 into the first period. Braun had the puck right near the blue line and took a beautiful wrist shot that whizzed past Penguins goalie Matt Murray, who it looks like didn’t even see it. That was Brauns second of the post-season and it put him on a two-game goal streak for the first time in his career. That tally tied up the game at one. The Penguins goal came from Ben Lovejoy five-and-a-half minutes into game 3. He took a random slap-shot from the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. It ended up going off of Roman Polaks shin pad and into the net. Aside from those two goals, no one else found the back of the net and we should thank Martin Jones for that. He was outstanding again in the first and came up huge on a Pens breakaway.
San Jose had some bad luck in the second. On a rush, Logan Couture took a wrist shot, beat Murray and hit far post. Then, with just fifty-three seconds remaining in the middle frame, Patric Hornqvist lit the lamp to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead going into the third. He was in front of Jones and redirected a Penguins shot.
Luckily, that bad luck didn’t follow them into the third. Down 1-2 in the final frame, the Sharks showed why they are in the Cup finals. The team fought back and started to get more shots on net. Then, on a 3-on-2, Joel Ward took a monster slapshot from the blue line and beat Matt Murray to tie the game at 8:48. That gave us another reason to love Wardo and it would send the game into… overtime, which the Sharks were 0-4 in.
Overtime was what some would call beautiful chaos. Both teams got great chances, great goaltending and some bad bounces. It was the type of thing that raises your blood pressure a lot and you know that the Sharks will be the death of you someday. But we made it and with 7:42 left in extra time, another off-season acquisition scored and gave the San Jose Sharks their first ever Stanley Cup Finals win. At home none the less. That hero was Joonas Donskoi. After Melker Karlsson worked his butt of to stop the Penguins from getting it out of their own zone, Donskoi took the puck from the right boards and passed it took Chris Tierney, who was below the goal line. A Penguins player quickly came upon Tierney and he gave it a little nudge to Donskoi who was skating right by him behind the net. Donkey took it, wrapped around the net to Murrays right and took a wrist shot top shelf and scored.
Here’s an amazing Finnish play-by-play commentator calling that goal. I think this is how Sharks fans everywhere reacted to that OT winner.
That OT win put the Sharks right back into this series, which Pittsburg now leads 2-1. Game 4 will be played on Monday, June 6th at 5 pm Pacific. Be sure to get loud and show the Penguins that we want the Cup!
Also be sure to check out ‘Pucknology After Dark’, which can be found at the top of this article, to see our reactions and discuss the game.
How did you feel about the game? What was your reaction to that OT goal? Sound off below or discuss with me on Twitter, either @sharkaiders, my personal account or @sharcago, my hockey account.
*Header courtesy of techninja.me