In a game that will likely be remembered as being steeped in controversy, the San Jose Sharks prevailed 5-4, in overtime against the St. Louis Blues, to take a 2-1 series lead.
The controversy came just before San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson scored the winning goal in the extra period at the 5:23 mark. San Jose's Timo Meier deflected a loose puck with his right hand–a violation necessitating a stoppage of play–which ended up in front of the net, where teammate Gustav Nyquist received and passed the puck to Karlsson, setting him up to bang the winning shot past Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.
After the game, reporters offered both opposing head coaches an opportunity to sound-off on the apparent blown no-call:
"'Quick play and I’m not going to comment on the officiating,' Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. 'We found a way to win a game. I thought we had a great chance just before that, Timo Meier going in. It was a game of momentum swings and those quick plays happen all over the ice. Some get called, some get missed. We found a way to win.'" -via Joe Harris (Associated Press)
When asked, Blues' coach Craig Berube kept it short and sweet: "No explanation (from the officials). What do you guys think? There's no reason to ask me. I have nothing to say about it." NHL Officiating Supervisor Kay Whitmore shed light on some of the confusion surrounding how the call (or, no-call) was handled, calling the particular play a "non-reviewable play" per the rules.
Regardless, the Sharks celebrated and the goal stood, even after the officials huddled and discussed what may have transpired during the game's final play. As for the game, in its entirety, San Jose jumped out to an early 2-0 first-period lead. Karlsson, the hero of the overtime period, scored the first of his eventual two goals to get the Sharks off to a quick start. This was followed by Joe Thornton's first of two goals of his own, a few minutes later in the opening period.
In the second, the Blues would erupt offensively, scoring four goals and taking a 4-3 lead into the game's third period. St. Louis' Alexander Steen got his team on the board early in the second, but his score was quickly answered by Thornton and his second goal. However, the Blues would then go on to score three unanswered goals on Sharks goalie Martin Jones, snatching the lead for the first time in Game 3.
The game's final period of regulation was intense, as St. Louis fought hard to cling to its one-goal lead. Conversely, the Sharks were fighting to stave-off losing Game 3, battling to at least tie the game. That struggle would eventually pay off for San Jose, as center Logan Couture scored his 14th 2019 postseason goal with 1:01 remaining, as the Sharks' net sat empty. Karlsson's controversial overtime would seal the victory and the 2-1 series lead for San Jose.
These playoffs have largely been back-and-forth affairs for the Sharks, who've alternated victories and losses within each of their past two series, following their three consecutive wins in their comeback effort against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round. With this in mind, San Jose will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, with another road victory in St. Louis in Friday's Game 4.
Still via SJ Sharks/Twitter