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Stanley Cup Final

Instant analysis: Penguins at Sharks, Game 3

San Jose plays its best game of Stanley Cup Final, wins in overtime

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

SAN JOSE - The San Jose Sharks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on Saturday. The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Joonas Donskoi scored the winning goal 12:18 into overtime, circling out to goaltender Matt Murray's right and shooting high to the short side from the bottom of the left circle.

The Penguins scored first for the third consecutive game with defenseman Ben Lovejoy's right point shot skipping past Sharks goaltender Martin Jones 5:29 into the first period. Defenseman Justin Braun answered for the Sharks with his second goal in as many games to tie it at 9:34 of the first.

Patric Hornqvist put the Penguins back ahead with his deflection goal with 52.3 seconds remaining in the second period, but Joel Ward pulled the Sharks even again 8:48 into the third.

Jones held the Sharks in it with 40 saves.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm3: Ward blasts home equalizer

What we learned: The Sharks still haven't played with a lead in the Cup Final, but they played their best game of the series, despite being without injured forward Tomas Hertl, and were rewarded on Donskoi's winning goal.

The Sharks generated sustained pressure in the Penguins end in the first period, but had trouble getting shots through. The Penguins blocked 12 shots in the first. Murray didn't have a lot of busy stretches in the first two games, but answered the call in the second period when he made nine saves after the Sharks made a push with the game tied 1-1. But Murray faltered in the third, allowing Ward's 41-foot slap shot to get past his catching glove.

What this means for the Penguins: Pittsburgh continues to lead the series, but it has some work to do to rebound after the Sharks pushed more in Game 3.

What this means for the Sharks: They climbed back in the series with their first overtime win this postseason (1-4) and can pull even with another victory in Game 4 on Monday.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm3: Braun wrists one past Murray

Key moment: It appeared the Sharks were about to come up empty on a four-minute high sticking double minor on Penguins center Nick Bonino when Ward tied the game at 2 with his long slap shot. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby had a chance to get the puck deep in the Sharks end to kill off the remainder of the power play, but elected to try to pass to defenseman Kris Letang, who was joining the rush.

Letang was caught up ice when Sharks center Joe Thornton (two assists) intercepted Crosby's pass and started the play back in the other direction with a pass to Donskoi. Ward finished on a shot Murray probably should have stopped.

Unsung player of the game: Fourth-line center Nick Spaling led the way physically for the Sharks with seven of their 47 hits in 17:22 of ice time.

What's next:  Game 4 is Monday at SAP Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

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