San Jose Sharks Win Game 7, Advance To Western Conference Final
The San Jose Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in Game 7 of the second round. This game looked very one-sided for two periods, as the Sharks played as they did in Game 1 and Game 5 of this series at home. Team teal received good news early as their captain Joe Pavelski returned to the lineup for the first time since his head injury in Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights. That injury then inspired the Sharks to a memorable win at the tank. This time around, Pavs returned the favor for his team.
About six minutes into the contest, Brent Burns wristed a shot from the blue line and Pavelski did his classic tip play to put the Sharks up 1-0. San Jose continued the pressure. Later in the period, Tomas Hertl wristed a close shot in to make it 2-0. The Sharks had a chance to put the hammer down on a smothering power play, but Philipp Grubauer came up big yet again for Colorado. The Avs used the great penalty kill as an energy boost and they scored on a tip play from Mikko Rantanen, right in front of the goal mouth, to cut the deficit to one.
To begin the second period the Avalanche came out strong. It led to a two on none goal to tie the game. Then just when everyone thought it was tied, Sharks Coach Peter DeBoer challenged that the play was offside. Upon further review, Gabriel Landeskog took forever to get onto the bench, and the goal was taken away. This play was a wake-up call for the Sharks to get going and midway through the period, Joonas Donskoi did a wrap around wrist shot goal to make it 3-1. It was Donskoi’s first goal since January and the Don Father can add another great playoff moment o his name.
In the third period, everyone had a feeling the Avalanche would turn it on and boy did they ever. A minute into the period, the Sharks failed to easily clear a loose puck by the net and Tyson Jost hustled to it and put it in the net. Not the way San Jose wanted to start the period and the onslaught was on from there. Colorado outshot San Jose 15-2, but Martin Jones and the Sharks were able to hang on.
The Sharks have done it again. San Jose wins another Game 7 and moves onto the Western Conference Finals to do a 2016 rematch against the St. Louis Blues. This recent Colorado series was as close as can be. Both teams went back and forth with wins. Nonetheless, the Sharks were just a goal better in the end. This series had timely saves at critical moments from Jones and Grubauer. In fact, the teams usually got momentum from those key stops. Despite the loss for Colorado, they had a fantastic season and high hopes for the future. The Sharks are halfway to the Cup and now it’s time to silence the Blues.
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