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game recap

Sharks win Game 3 in OT, first of Cup Final

San Jose defeats Penguins, trails series 2-1 with Game 4 on Monday

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

Donskoi's overtime winner

PIT@SJS, Gm3: Donskoi goes top-shelf to win Game 3

Cup Final, Gm3: Joonas Donskoi carries the puck to the left circle and fires a wrister past Matt Murray, giving the Sharks a 3-2 win in Game 3

  • 01:31 •

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks and their fans waited 25 years for their first Stanley Cup Final home game. They had no issue waiting a bit longer than usual for their first Stanley Cup Final win.

Rookie Joonas Donskoi scored 12:18 into overtime to give the Sharks a 3-2 victory in Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins before a frenzied full house at SAP Center on Saturday.

"You couldn't have scripted it any better," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "Overtime win, loud. Fans were into it from the start."

Donskoi scored after his linemates won some battles along the boards. Melker Karlsson was in aggressively on the forecheck, and despite losing his stick and a glove, he forced a bad clearing attempt that ended up at the feet of teammate Chris Tierney.

Donskoi picked the puck out of Tierney's skates, circled the net and flared out wide before lifting a shot that beat Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray short-side over his right shoulder.

"I asked [Joonas] if he knew where [the shot] went," Tierney said. "I don't think he knows still."

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

Donskoi, who signed this summer as a free agent after playing in Finland for the past six years, now has the biggest goal in Sharks history, one that assured they would not face the chance of being swept from this best-of-7 series in Game 4 here on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

"Obviously a must-win game for us," said San Jose goalie Martin Jones, who made 40 saves, including the final 22 shots he faced.

Donskoi's goal prevented San Jose from becoming the first NHL team to lose five overtime games in one Stanley Cup Playoff (1-4). Pittsburgh is 4-3, including a 2-1 win in Game 2.

"We were saying that between the third period and overtime, 'We've been on the other side of this, so let's feel good about ourselves,'" San Jose forward Joe Thornton said.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm3: Lovejoy hammers it past Jones

The Sharks finally felt good at the end of an overtime game because of Donskoi, who took over at its final moment and scored his sixth goal of the postseason.

It was the first time two rookies have scored an overtime goal in the same Stanley Cup Final, following Pittsburgh's Conor Sheary, who scored 2:35 into its overtime win Wednesday.

Donskoi is the sixth rookie in Stanley Cup Final history to score an overtime goal: Sheary; Brian Skrudland, Jacques Lemaire and Jimmy Peters of the Montreal Canadiens; and Alf Pike of the New York Rangers are the others.

"I don't think about that too much," Donskoi said when asked about his place in Sharks history. "Now we get going. We can still get better.

"Just bring at least same effort next game. Don't think of the results too much, just keep going."

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm3: Lynch joins the Sharks ahead of Game 3

Things did not start well for the Sharks on Saturday after a dramatic pregame introduction that highlighted their legends from the first 25 years, featured former Seattle Seahawks running back and Oakland native Marshawn Lynch opening the dressing room doors to let the Sharks onto the ice, and a moment of silence for boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died Friday.

Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy floated home a shot from the point at 5:29 of the first period to give the Penguins the first goal for the third straight game.

San Jose defenseman Justin Braun tied it 1-1 at 9:34 of the first, the first time in his NHL career, regular season or playoffs, he scored in back-to-back games (412 games total).

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm3: Hornqvist deflects it past Jones

Pittsburgh forward Patric Hornqvist tipped a point shot from Lovejoy with 43 seconds left in the second period for a 2-1 lead.

San Jose forward Joel Ward tied it 2-2 with 11:12 remaining in the third period, scoring just as a double-minor to Penguins forward Nick Bonino expired. Ward took a pass from Thornton and his shot from a few feet inside the blue line somehow powered through Murray.

"Yeah, that was a bit of a weird one," Murray said. "His release point was a little bit further back than most slap shots are, and it kind of dipped a little bit at the last second, and I just waved at it and missed it.

"It's not a good goal by any means, but I thought I made a couple good saves (23 total) after that. It was just a weird one."

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

Ward has seven goals this postseason, four in the third period or overtime, with three either tying the game or putting the Sharks ahead.

"It's always a good feeling to help contribute for your squad," said Ward, who signed as a free agent in July. "Obviously you're in the moment and you're just wanting to score and help your team win. Just knowing here we're at the Stanley Cup Finals, you just want to help, hopefully continue on this process, build on the next game, try to contribute again."

The Penguins have blown at least one lead in each game of the series. This time, they surrendered it twice, and it came back to haunt them for the first time.

"We had some chances," Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. "I think both teams carried the play [at] different times.

"I think we still did a good job even with the lead there. I thought we still went after them and generated some chances. We didn't sit back. If anything, we can take that away."

Video: Donskoi's overtime goal wins Game 3 for Sharks, 3-2

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