NHL Playoffs 2019: Sharks win via controversial goal in overtime, take 2-1 series lead over Blues
The Sharks tied the game at the end of regulation, then got another major break in OT
A wild Game 3 of the Western Conference Final ended in controversy on Wednesday night, and once again it's the San Jose Sharks getting a major break by some questionable officiating.
The Sharks took a 2-1 series lead when Erik Karlsson scored in overtime in St. Louis, but his goal likely shouldn't have counted thanks to a pretty blatant hand pass in the offensive zone that helped set up the game-winner. However, officials missed the call and weren't allowed to review it after the sequence, so the Sharks escaped with an extremely fortunate win.
It's a gut-wrenching and demoralizing loss for the Blues, who held a 4-3 lead with just over a minute left in the third period before Logan Couture scored the game-tying goal to force overtime. Just a bitter loss to swallow for St. Louis
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NHL Playoffs for Wednesday, May 15
- Game 3: Sharks 5, Blues 4 OT (SJ leads 2-1) [Box score]
San Jose claims controversial win
The Sharks got the game-winner in overtime but it didn't come without plenty of controversy. Timo Meier appeared to commit a very obvious hand pass before Gustav Nyquist was able to set up Erik Karlsson for the winning goal, but officials didn't whistle the play dead like they should have and they counted the goal on the ice. The hand pass rule is apparently not reviewable, meaning the Blues had to swallow a brutal missed call and fall down 2-1 in the series.
Sharks score late to force overtime
Martin Jones came up with a number of huge stops in the third period to keep it a one-goal game, but his offense had a tough time picking him up on the other end for most of the period. After the wild goal fest in the second period, the final frame of regulation brought a scoreless battle for 19 minutes. The Blues held tight in their own defensive end and hung on to their 4-3 lead as the final minute neared.
However, Logan Couture came up with yet another huge goal to tie the game and force overtime. It's Couture's 14th goal of the postseason, which is just insane.
The Blues held a 12-11 advantage in shots in the final period of regulation, but the Sharks held the advantage in scoring chances (10-4) and got the only goal.
A wild second period
Things got pretty crazy to start the second period and there were three goals in the first 4:05 of the middle frame. The Blues got the party started when Ivan Barbashev made a really strong play to fight off Erik Karlsson on a rush before feeding Alex Steen for a one-timer that beat Martin Jones for St. Louis' first goal.
But Thornton answered for the Sharks and reclaimed a two-goal lead just 18 seconds later. It's Thornton's first-ever multi-goal playoff game, making him the oldest player in Sharks history to score more than one goal in the playoffs.
But the Blues had an answer for the answer just a few minutes later when Vladimir Tarasenko showcased his high-end talent with a beautiful goal off the rush. What a snipe.
The Blues were able to tie the game about 12 minutes later when Colton Parayko found David Perron, who ripped a great shot on net to beat Jones for the equalizer.
Perron then gave the Blues the lead a few minutes later to close out the period, beating Jones with a shot from the point that deflected off a defender's leg. That goal came on the power play, giving the Blues a much-needed special teams tally. St. Louis had been 2-for-their-last-28 (including 0-for-their-last-18) on the power play.
It certainly wasn't the greatest period for Jones, but it was an entertaining one for the fans. Shots in the second were 13-8 in favor of the Blues, with St. Louis also holding a 12-7 edge in scoring chances.
Erik Karlsson powers Sharks in first
It was a good first road period for the Sharks after losing Game 2, and it was Erik Karlsson leading the charge for San Jose out of the gate. Karlsson is skating and moving the puck well in the early going, and he's got some offense to show for it. The San Jose defenseman netted his first goal of the playoffs to open the scoring in Game 3, unleashing a wicked wrister past Jordan Binnington for the 1-0 lead a little more than halfway through the first period. The Karlsson shot was a full-on water bottle assault.
Karlsson wasn't the only Sharks veteran to get on the board in the first, though. Joe Thornton doubled San Jose's lead later in the period when he corralled a rebound in front of Binnington and fired it into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.
After 20 minutes of play, the Sharks are outshooting the Blues 9-4 and out-chancing St. Louis 11-6 in all situations.
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