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Sharks Survive Another Game 7, Advance to Western Conference Finals

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

After an improbable comeback from a 3-1 series deficit, defeating the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the San Jose Sharks ground their way through another long series, defeating the Colorado Avalanche in game 7 Wednesday night. With the 3-2 victory, the Sharks have advanced to the Western Conference Final, four wins away from another trip to the championship round.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski returned from injury, playing his first game of the series on Wednesday night. He was hurt after a hard hit and fall in the series against Las Vegas. It didn’t take long for him to make an impact back on the ice, scoring the game’s opening goal in the first period.

But the captain wasn’t done there, assisting on the game’s second goal, a dime of a pass to Tomas Hertl.

Colorado would score in the closing seconds of the first period, and looked to have tied the game at two in the second period, but the goal was waived after a San Jose coaching challenge.

The Sharks would capitalize on the controversial call, and the Colorado frustration that followed, with a clinical top-corner finish from Joonas Donskoi.

The Avalanche did manage to score again early in the third period, forcing San Jose to defend hard and hold their one goal lead for a nerve-racking final twenty minutes. Sharks goalkeeper Martin Jones was once again on his game, finishing with 27 saves, including 14 in the final period, to preserve the win.

The Shark Tank was rocking all night, and the celebrations included some members of the San Francisco 49ers:

Beginning Saturday night, San Jose hosts the St. Louis Blues, who are fresh of a seven-game series victory of their own over the Dallas Stars. Either team needs another four wins to advance, and take on the victor of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes.