Erik Karlsson’s Controversial Winner Gives Sharks Game 3 OT Win vs. Blues
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - MAY 15: Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates with his teammates after scoring the game winning goal in overtime to defeat the St. Louis Blues in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Enterprise Center on May 15, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Erik Karlsson‘s controversial overtime goal helped the San Jose Sharks pull out a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final on Wednesday night, giving San Jose a 2-1 series lead.

Karlsson and Joe Thornton each had two goals for the Sharks, who used Logan Couture’s late third-period score to force overtime. Martin Jones had 28 saves on the night. 

David Perron scored twice as the Blues netted all four of their goals in the second. Jordan Binnington made 27 saves in a losing effort for St. Louis.    

It took a while for either team to light the lamp, but once the first goal went in, both goalies had a hard time keeping the puck out of the net.

With less than seven minutes to play in the first, Karlsson opened the scoring with a shot through traffic:

That marked Karlsson’s first goal of the 2018-19 postseason. He had tallied 13 assists through his first 16 appearances.

A few minutes later, Thornton would give the Sharks some breathing room:

With that goal, San Jose took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, but the action was just getting started.

St. Louis got on the board only 78 seconds into the middle period to cut the lead in half:

Less than 20 seconds later, the Sharks had an answer thanks to their captain:

Per NHL Public Relations, Thornton (39 years, 317 days) became the oldest player in NHL history to record his first career multigoal playoff game.

The Blues did not back down, however. Roughly two-and-a-half minutes after Thornton’s second goal of the night, Vladimir Tarasenko brought the margin back down to one by beating the defense and slipping one past Jones:

Just like that, the two teams had scored five goals in approximately 11 minutes of game time.

The scoring barrage eventually slowed down, as San Jose clung to a one-goal lead for the majority of the second. However, Perron eventually powered his team to the lead:

After being held scoreless through the opening 20 minutes, St. Louis managed to beat Jones four times in the second. According to NHL Public Relations, it was the first time since the 2000 conference quarterfinals that the Blues had scored four goals in a single period in the postseason. 

San Jose spent nearly the entire third period trying to net the equalizer, but Binnington held his ground in the crease. Ultimately, though, Couture evened the score with one minute remaining in regulation while the Sharks had an extra attacker:

That gave Couture an NHL-high 14 goals and 20 points this postseason, while no other player has reached double digits. 

Couture has five goals through the first three games against St. Louis. Wednesday was the first time he failed to record a multigoal game in the series.

Riding the momentum from the end of the third, San Jose wasted little time in finishing off the come-from-behind victory. 

Five minutes into overtime, Karlsson ended the contest, though it did not come without controversy. It appeared as though Sharks forward Timo Meier assisted the game-winning goal with a hand pass, but none of the officials on the ice saw it.

The Blues attempted to plead their case to the referees, but it was to no avail. Unfortunately for them, the play was not reviewable.

With the victory, San Jose has recaptured home-ice advantage after losing Game 2 on Monday.

What’s Next

St. Louis will have the opportunity to even the series at two games apiece on Friday, with Game 4 being played at Enterprise Center at 8 p.m. ET.

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