Following the Sharks’ 5-2 win Thursday, which cut their series deficit against the Vegas Golden Knights to 3-2, forward Tomas Hertl made a declaration that the series would be coming back to San Jose for a Game 7.
“We know we have one more game, then come back for Game 7, and I believe it because we’re a better team than them,” the 25-year-old native of the Czech Republic said to hometown roars after that game.
On Sunday, Hertl delivered on that promise.
In stunning fashion, Hertl scored the game-winner in double overtime while the Sharks were short-handed, sending the series back to San Jose for a winner-take-all showdown on Tuesday.
Hertl’s winner came at 11:17 of the second extra period with Barclay Goodrow in the box for slashing and gave the Sharks a 2-1 win in Game 6 in Las Vegas. NHL PR said Hertl’s goal was the first short-handed tally beyond the first overtime in the league’s history.
While he deservedly gets credit for the goal that staved off elimination — after guaranteeing the Sharks would win — San Jose would not have even been in position for Hertl’s goal without the stellar play of Martin Jones.
Maligned all season, and even earlier in this series, Jones responded with a sterling 58-save effort.
Logan Couture scored the Sharks’ other goal in the waning moments of the first period. On the other side, Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves on 29 shots before the overtime winner eluded him.