Erik Karlsson's second goal of the night counted despite an obvious hand-pass seconds earlier, and the visiting San Jose Sharks claimed a 5-4 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night to grab a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals. Game 4 of the best-of-seven series will be Friday in St. Louis and rest assured there will be all kinds of chatter about the winning goal before that contest starts.
From his knees, San Jose's Timo Meier swatted a bouncing puck to teammate Gustav Nyquist in the slot. Nyquist sent a pass to Karlsson, who buried the shot at 5:23 of overtime. Despite the protests from the Blues, the play couldn't be reviewed. It was a wild finish to a wild game that already featured a couple of comebacks, a four-goal second period for the hosts and a last-minute goal to force overtime.
San Jose led 3-1 early in the second period. The Sharks got first-period goals by Karlsson -- his first since Dec. 29 -- and Joe Thornton, then another by Thornton 96 seconds into the second period, just 18 seconds after Alexander Steen put the Blues onto the board. However, Vladimir Tarasenko made it a 3-2 game with his first goal in six games at the 4:05 mark of the middle period. David Perron then scored twice before the second period ended to put the hosts in a great position to take a lead in the series -- his second goal snapping his team's 0-for-18 drought with the man advantage.
But Logan Couture scored with 61 seconds left in regulation, a rebound tally with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, and the Sharks forced overtime. Thornton finished with three points, as did Blues defenseman Colton Parayko.
Martin Jones made 28 saves for the win, including a couple of brilliant stops in the third period while his team trailed. Jordan Binnington stopped 27 shots for the Blues, who also lost defenseman Vince Dunn in the first period when he was hit in the face by a puck.
(With inputs from agencies.)