While not a must-win in a literal sense, the San Jose Sharks simply had to have a victory in Game 3 as they trailed the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final. And win they did, in dramatic fashion no less.
Joonas Donskoi, who the Sharks signed over the summer as a free agent after his MVP performance in the Finnish league playoffs last year, was the hero for San Jose Saturday night. With the game tied 2-2 in overtime, Donskoi took a puck from behind the net, fought off a hook from Evgeni Malkin and sent a spinning shot through two Penguins and over goalie Matt Murray's shoulder to had the Sharks their first Stanley Cup Final victory in franchise history.
The goal had a lot to do with the tremendous effort by Melker Karlsson on the forecheck, forcing the the Penguins into some bad decisions with the puck. When the puck ringed around the boards, it found Donskoi who then shoveled the puck up to Chris Tierney. That started the scoring play as Tierney dished the puck back over to Donskoi and the rest is Stanley Cup Final history.
The Sharks now have life in a series that very easily could have gotten away from them. Now they can head into Game 4 with a little more jump after getting skated out of the building in the first two games.
Regardless of what happens in the series, this game will be a huge moment in Sharks franchise history. It took 25 years for their first Stanley Cup Final win and the Sharks fans got their money's worth with that game and the celebration that followed.