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Sharks vs. Penguins: Stanley Cup Final Game 3 Key Moment

Joel Ward skated into the Pittsburgh Penguins zone in the third period Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final and decided to shoot the puck.  

The lane was there for Ward and his team was down 2-1 so he figured a simple play could create a chance for his San Jose Sharks.

Ward’s rocket past Murray's glove tied the game at 2-2 and helped set up Joonas Donskoi’s overtime winner that gave San Jose their first win of the Stanley Cup Final, a 3-2 victory.  

“I got the puck had a little 3-on-2 rush, kind of saw a lane thought I’d shoot it and it,” Ward said in his postgame interview with NBC Pierre McGuire. “It was fortunate to go in.”

The Sharks are down 2-1 in the series, but a loss to the Penguins would have put San Jose down 3-0, an almost insurmountable margin. Ward’s goal was a big reason why they’re still alive in the Cup Final.

San Jose signed Ward for three years at $9.825 million in the offseason hoping he could add a clutch component to the team. There have been several occasions in this playoff run where Ward has made a big play in important moments. In Game 1 of the second-round against the Nashville Predators, Ward scored one goal and added an assist to help his team to a comeback victory.

In Games 5 and 6 against the St. Louis Blues, Ward had two goals in each game to help his team reach their first Stanley Cup Final in organization history. The goal in Game 3 against Pittsburgh was his seventh of the playoffs, which ranks third on the Sharks.

In the regular season Ward has averaged 0.44 points per-game and 0.19 goals per-game in 596 career contests. In the playoffs, he has averaged 0.66 points per-game and 0.28 goals per-game in 75 contests.  

Ward’s goal and, how it was scored on a long-range shot, could re-open some doubt into Pittsburgh rookie goaltender Matt Murray. After Pittsburgh’s decision last round to go with Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 5 – a choice that was much-maligned – it seems unlikely they’ll make a switch again. 

But Ward’s goal was one of two Murray would probably like to have back – the other one being Justin Braun’s first period goal. Those are tough plays to forget for any goaltender – especially a 22-year-old rookie.  

"I thought Matt was solid. Made some big saves and gave us a chance to win tonight," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the game.



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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!


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