- The San Jose Sharks beat the Vegas Golden Knights in a wild, epic Game 7.
- The Knights were leading 3-0 in the third period when Cody Eakin was given a major penalty for cross-checking Joe Pavelski to the ice, causing a cut and forcing him to leave the game.
- The Sharks scored four goals during the five-minute power play to take the lead, before the Knights scored a game-tying goal with 47 seconds left to send it to overtime.
- The Sharks scored the game-winning goal with less than two minutes remaining in overtime to win the series.
- After the game, the Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault ripped the penalty call, saying it was a “f—ing joke.”
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The San Jose Sharks eliminated the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday in a wild Game 7 that featured a flurry of goals and a controversial penalty.
The Knights were leading the Sharks 3-0 with 10:54 remaining in the third period. During a face-off, Sharks centerman Joe Pavelski was cross-checked by the Knights centerman Cody Eakin, drawing a major penalty and a five-minute power play.
Pavelski stayed down on the ice and was bleeding. He did not return to the game.
Many in the sports world questioned whether Eakin should have received a major for the hit.
Prayers for Joe but … how is this a major? https://t.co/iVUUelm9ha
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 24, 2019
Five minute penalty was excessive and illogical. It changed an entire series. This statement doesn’t cut it. https://t.co/4Q2gMdPc39
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) April 24, 2019
1. You’ve got to kill penalties
2. Why the hell was that a major
— Matt Porter (@mattyports) April 24, 2019
(More on the penalty later.)
With a five-minute power play, the Sharks went right to work. Sharks centerman Logan Couture scored the first goal six seconds into the power play to make it 3-1. He yelled to his bench, “That’s one!” right after.
Fifty seconds later, Tomas Hertl scored the Sharks’ second goal of the power play, deflecting Erik Karlsson’s shot into the goal.
The deluge was on. With just over seven minutes remaining in the period, Couture scored again on a bullet from the middle of the ice.
Then, with the game tied, less than a minute later, right winger Kevin LeBlanc buried the puck to give the Sharks the 4-3 lead, sending the arena into a frenzy.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/pSkY7fiVON
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) April 24, 2019
The Knights would rally, however. They pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the final minutes, and Jonathan Marchessault scored the game-tying goal with just 47 seconds remaining. A clutch goal with the season on the line.
— NHL (@NHL) April 24, 2019
The game went into overtime where both teams battled for over 18 minutes before Barclay Goodrow got behind the Knights defence and scored the series-winning goal.
The controversy wasn’t over, however. After the game, Marchessault tore into the referees, saying the NHL should be embarrassed by the major given to Eakin.
“It’s a f—ing joke,” Marchessault said. “To call five minutes for that? It changed the whole outcome of the game. Like, seriously, what is that? It’s so disappointing. The game’s not even close. It’s 3-0. Call a [two-minute minor]? OK. But a five? For something you don’t even see? You just call the outcome. It’s a f—ing joke. It’s embarrassing. That’s what it is.”
He continued: “If you want to call the cross-check, fine, call it. It’s a cross-check … Don’t get me wrong: I’m a huge fan of Joe Pavelski. And he went down, and I really hope he’s OK and he comes back. But that call changes the whole outcome. It changes the whole future of us and the outcome this year. It’s a joke. I would be embarrassed if I was them.”
The referees explained after the game that the cross-check and the result warranted a major penalty.
Nonetheless, the Knights were entirely unable to stop the Sharks’ power play offence. San Jose ranked sixth in the NHL in power play goals during the regular season while Vegas fairly decent at stopping power play goals, allowing just 44 during the season, tied for fifth.
The Sharks now advance to play the Colorado Avalanche.
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