The San Jose Sharks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in Wednesday night's Game 7 at the SAP Center. In this back-and-forth series, which saw each team alternate wins throughout, nothing seemed to come easy. Wednesday night's deciding game was no different.

With their captain, Joe Pavelski, returning from a gruesome injury stretching all the way back to San Jose's first-round series versus the Vegas Golden Knights, the Sharks were feeling whole once again. Not just a familiar face, Pavelski jumped right into the fray, scoring a goal and assisting on another in the first period. Tomas Hertl was credited with the second goal of the game, also in the first.

The Avs would strike back, however, as Mikko Rantanen banged one past Sharks goalie Martin Jones in the closing seconds of the opening period. Jones would tighten up, shutting Colorado out in the second. Joonas Donskoi, in the same period, would score the crucial third goal for San Jose, putting them ahead by a score of 3-1, heading into the final frame.

Colorado wasted little time, cutting into the lead with a Tyson Jost goal, only 51 seconds into the third. With the score, Martin Jones and the Sharks' defense would have to play the remainder of the game under immense pressure. Jones responded with a solid effort, turning away 14 Avalanche shots on-goal. Colorado turned up the heat, with their season on the line, testing the San Jose goalie with four quick shots in a 40-second period, inside the final two minutes of play.

The 3-2 victory vaults the Sharks into the Western Conference Finals, where they will face the St. Louis Blues, who are coming off a brutal seven-game series of their own. While regular season records can basically be tossed out the window, come playoff time, San Jose won their season series against the Blues 2-1. Game 1 will be played at the Shark Tank on Saturday.