Nathan MacKinnon

NHL explains controversial overturned goal in Sharks-Avalanche Game 7

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AP

NHL explains controversial overturned goal in Sharks-Avalanche Game 7

For a moment, it appeared the Sharks had allowed the game-tying goal they dreaded in the second period of Wednesday night's Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon, who left and returned in the first period after an apparent shoulder injury, grabbed Derick Brassard's zone-entry pass and set up Colin Wilson. Wilson beat San Jose goaltender Martin Jones with 7:49 remaining in the middle frame, but the Sharks challenged the play for offside after an evaluation by video coach Dan Darrow.

Replays indicated that Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog still was in the offensive zone when MacKinnon touched the puck. Landeskog was trying to get off the ice and back to Colorado's bench, but the NHL's Situation Room determined he "did not legally tag up at the blue line prior to the puck entering the offensive zone."

According to the NHL, "[the] decision was made in accordance to Rule 83.3 (i) 'All players of the offending team clear the zone at the same instant (skate contact with the blue line) permitting the attacking players to re-enter the attacking zone …'"

Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi scored the eventual game-winning goal 4:48 later in San Jose's Stanley Cup playoff series-ending 3-2 victory.

“It’s a tough call to make, so hopefully they got it right,” Landeskog told reporters at SAP Center, via The Denver Post, after Game 7.

Landeskog called the play "frustrating" and noted "there were 10 things I could've done differently on that play."

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar was asked about the call in his postgame press conference, but he said the Sharks deserved to win Game 7 regardless.

“It was a real good series, but they were the better team for two big portions of tonight’s game," Bednar rold reporters, via The Post. "And they won, and they deserved to win.

"I loved our push at the end. We had some chances to tie it, and our guys fought real hard all the way to the end.”

[RELATED: Sharks can't say enough about Pavelski after Game 7 win]

The Sharks found themselves at the center of a controversial call for their second consecutive Game 7 this postseason. In the final game of their first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights, Vegas forward Cody Eakin was assessed a five-minute major cross-checking penalty after San Jose captain Joe Pavelski laid motionless on the ice with his head bleeding. But a collision with Golden Knights forward Paul Stastny, not Eakin's cross-check, caused Pavelski to hit his head on the ice.

San Jose scored four goals on the ensuing five-minute power play to take its first lead that night, and eventually dispatched Vegas with a 5-4 overtime win. The NHL ultimately apologized to the Golden Knights, and Pavelski told reporters Sunday he didn't believe it should have been a major penalty, either.

Watch Joe Pavelski set up another goal to double Sharks' Game 7 lead

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AP

Watch Joe Pavelski set up another goal to double Sharks' Game 7 lead

With Nathan MacKinnon out and Joe Pavelski red-hot, the Sharks doubled their first-period lead in Wednesday's Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Tomas Hertl gave San Jose a 2-0 lead in the last game of the Stanley Cup playoff second-round series on an assist from -- who else -- Pavelski.

The Sharks captain dished a pass from behind the Avalanche net, and Hertl did the rest with 8:25 remaining in the first period at SAP Center.

In his first period back from a scary head injury he sustained in Game 7 of the Sharks' Stanley Cup playoff first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights, Pavelski clinched his 23rd career multi-point playoff game. He has about two periods left to seal his ninth career three-point game, and to help push the Sharks into the Western Conference final, where the St. Louis Blues await.

The Avalanche cut the lead in half with a goal at the end of the first period, and Hertl's Pavelski-assisted marker stood as the difference headed into the first intermission.

Avs star Nathan MacKinnon leaves Game 7 vs. Sharks with injury, returns

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USATSI

Avs star Nathan MacKinnon leaves Game 7 vs. Sharks with injury, returns

Minutes after the Sharks got their captain back, the Colorado Avalanche's scoring leader suffered an injury of his own early in Wednesday's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoff second-round series. 

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon crashed into the boards shoulder-first on an early Colorado power play, and had to go back to his team's dressing room with 17:42 remaining in the first period after receiving attention on his right shoulder. 

After receiving treatment in the dressing room, MacKinnon returned to the Colorado bench with 5:37 remaining in the first period.

MacKinnon entered Wednesday as the postseason's second-leading scorer with 13 points (six goals, seven assists) and 11 games. The Avalanche's MacKinnon-led top line has been one the Sharks have focused on shutting down throughout the series, with MacKinnon scoring five points (three goals, two assists) in six games. 

For the second straight game, the Avalanche dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Colorado coach Jared Bednar has 10 forwards at his disposal while MacKinnon was out. 

Just under four minutes after MacKinnon headed back to the Avs dressing room, Joe Pavelski gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

Six minutes later, Tomas Hertl gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead.