No. 1 – April 23, 2019 – San Jose 5, Vegas 4 (OT)
It was a comeback for the ages that showed what well-channeled fury can accomplish. The Sharks made franchise history by dodging elimination twice to force Game 7 in their first-round series against Vegas. Midway through the third period, however, San Jose trailed 3-0.
Everything would change on a faceoff between Sharks captain Joe Pavelski and Cody Eakin. After losing the draw, Eakin cross-checked Pavelski in the chest. Pavelski lost his balance and fell into the path of Paul Stastny, whose glancing shove caused an even more awkward fall. Pavelski’s head hit hard on the ice, knocking him out as blood dripped from his helmet.
Initially, no penalty was called. Only after Pavelski was helped off the ice by teammates was Eakin given a five-minute major and game misconduct.
Then came the barrage. Seven seconds into the power play, Logan Couture rifled a shot past Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at 9:20. “That’s one,” an intense Couture barked. Forty-nine seconds later, Tomas Hertl’s deflection made it two. Couture tied the game at 12:53. And 28 seconds later, Kevin Labanc – who had assists on the first three goals – put the Sharks up 4-3.
Still, the drama wasn’t over. Vegas center Jonathan Marchessault scored with 47 seconds left in regulation, and it took an overtime goal by fourth-liner Barclay Goodrow before San Jose advanced with a 5-4 win.
Couture credited Joe Thornton for the turnaround after Pavelski was hurt. “He said, ‘You guys go out and get three goals right now,’ ” Couture said. “When a guy who’s played 20 years orders you around like that, you’ve got to go do it. So we did. We got four.”
No. 2 – April 30, 1994 – San Jose 3, Detroit 2
A late goal by centerJamie Baker sparked an upset victory over the Presidents’ Trophy winners in Game 7 of franchise’s playoff debut.
No. 3 – April 19, 2011 – Sharks 6, Kings 5 (OT)
Another big playoff comeback. Down 4-0 in Game 3 of Round 1 in Los Angeles, San Jose rallied for win over Kings on Devin Setoguchi’s overtime goal.
GREATEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF ALL-TIME
Oct. 8, 2013 – San Jose 9, NY Rangers 2
In only his third NHL game and in a mere 11:12 of ice time, rookie Tomas Hertl became the talk of the NHL, not just for tying a team record with four goals, but for his flair on the final tally.
The 19-year-old cruised in alone on net, slid the puck backwards between his legs and flipped it over goalie Martin Biron. Showboating, decried NHL traditionalists. Nonsense, said others, arguing players needed to display more personality. Either way, it was a special night of hockey, and an incredible goal for the youngster, who instantly made a name for himself.