Stanley Cup Final Recap: Donskoi’s Game 3 Overtime Goal Comes at a Good Time for San Jose

Joonas Donskoi's overtime goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. (Photo: NHL.com)

Pittsburgh Penguins vs San Jose Sharks

Joonas Donskoi scored 12:18 into overtime and goaltender Martin Jones stopped 40 shots to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Pittsburgh leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.

Donskoi assisted on the goal that sent the game into overtime giving him two points on the evening. Teammate Joe Thornton also collected two points on two assists.

“I met Joonas at our Development Camp last July,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said when asked about the rookie forward. “(He was) the best player in Development Camp then we went on to the Main Camp. He was the best player in the Main Camp, (and) exhibitions, and he just kept jumping over hurdles. He’s the real deal. He’s a very good player for us and we wouldn’t be here without him.”

“I had a lot of scoring chances during the Final and it was a good time to get it (puck) in,” Donskoi answered when asked about his game-winning goal during the postgame press conference. “This was our best game, so far, and we had a lot of scoring chances so it felt great for the team and now, we (can) get going.”

With San Jose’s victory, there will not be a sweep in any round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (15 total series).

Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy started the scoring 5:29 into the game with a slap shot from the right point that Jones saw go past him after it deflected off one of his defenseman’s shin pads and went low to the blocker side giving Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead. The play began with the Penguins dumping the puck into the Sharks zone which Jones played and left behind his net but instead of a teammate retrieving it, Penguins forward Matt Cullen swept in and gained possession of the puck. Cullen tried to bank it into the net but the disc hit the side of the net and went to Eric Fehr in front of Jones’ crease. Fehr’s shot went wide of the net. Another Sharks defender tried to send the puck out of the zone but it went directly to Lovejoy.

Lovejoy’s goal was the third consecutive time in the series that Pittsburgh scored the opening goal of the game.

The Sharks appeared to gain momentum as the period progressed and they tied the score at 1-1 when defenseman Justin Braun scored his second goal of the postseason 9:34 into the period. Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic sent the puck into the Penguins zone. Thornton retrieved it along the left half-wall and moved it back to the right point to Braun who sent a shot that bounced off the ice, through a screen, and into the net. It was the second straight game in which Braun has scored a goal.

The period would end with a 1-1 score and the Penguins outshooting the Sharks 14-6.

The second period saw San Jose play some of their best hockey of the series but Pittsburgh scored the only goal of the period.

Patric Hornqvist made it a 2-1 game with just 53 seconds remaining in the frame. The Penguins relentless forecheck forced a turnover in the Sharks’ end. A San Jose defenseman gave in to the pressure coming at him in the form of Sidney Crosby. The Sharks defender tried to move the puck up the boards to Thornton but a pinching Pittsburgh defensemen, Olli Maatta, forced a second defensive zone breakdown and the puck went directly to Crosby, whose turnaround shot was stopped by Jones. The rebound landed on Lovejoy’s stick with Hornqvist and Conor Sheary screening the goaltender. Hornqvist put his stick on the puck as Lovejoy’s shot made it’s way to the net, deflecting it past Jones to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

The Sharks continued its fine play in the third period and took advantage of a power play opportunity at 8:48 of the session. After Thornton intercepted a Pittsburgh pass in his own zone, he fed it into the neutral zone to Donskoi. Donskoi sent the puck into the middle of the ice onto Joel Ward’s stick and the forward entered the Pittsburgh zone and sent a slap shot between Penguins goaltender Matt Murray’s glove and body for San Jose’s second goal of the night tying the game 2-2.

That is how the contest would end and for the second consecutive game, the clubs were headed to overtime where Donskoi worked his magic when the puck was sent around the boards from the left corner to the right wing boards in the Pittsburgh zone. Donskoi gained possession of it, passed it back into the corner to teammate Chris Tierney. Tierney and Donskoi worked a give-and-go in the corner with Donskoi receiving a pass from Tierney as he skated toward his linemate. Donskoi skated the puck behind the net and held onto the disc until he reached the top of the faceoff circle from where he put a wrist shot that deflected off the stick of a Penguins’ defenseman over Murray’s stick side shoulder and into the net.

Game 4 is scheduled for Monday, June 6th at 8:00 pm ET (NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Stat of the Night:

California-based teams improved to 12-1 at home in the Stanley Cup Final since 2003 (Anaheim 6-0; Los Angeles 5-1; San Jose 1-0).

Series Notes:

Game 3 was the fourth time in the past five years that at least two games in the Stanley Cup Final have required overtime.

This marks just the third playoff year to not feature a sweep since all four rounds went to a best-of-seven format in 1987 (also 1991 and 2002).

After three games of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, the teams have been tied for 125:33. Pittsburgh has led for 69:20. San Jose has led for 00:00.

Two rookies have scored an overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in NHL history (Game 2-Conor Sheary, Game 3-Joonas Donskoi). Overall, Donskoi became the sixth rookie to score an overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Final.

San Jose Sharks rookies who have scored overtime goals: Zyuzin (1998), Dimitrakos (2004), Ferriero (2011), Donskoi (2016).

San Jose’s Justin Braun has goals in two consecutive games for the first time in his NHL career (412 games played, regular season and playoffs).

Joel Ward matched a career playoff-high with his seventh goal of the postseason.

Sunday’s Stanley Cup Playoff Schedule:

No Games Scheduled

Follow ESPN New Hampshire’s NHL Writer, Shawn Hutcheon, on Twitter at @ShawnHutcheon.

 

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