Even the NHL’s advertisements on television proclaim “There’s nothing like a Game 7.”
For the second time in as many rounds this postseason, the San Jose Sharks will face the ultimate.
The Sharks and Colorado Avalanche are scheduled to decide their Western Conference semifinal series Wednesday night with Game 7 in San Jose. The Sharks also went seven games with the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round.
The Avalanche forced a deciding game with a 4-3 overtime victory in Game 6 on Monday in Denver. Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog scored the winner at 2:32 of the extra session, after the Avalanche had squandered three one-goal leads during regulation.
“Never had an OT goal in the playoffs before, so to do that on home ice, no doubt is very exciting,” said Landeskog, who has three goals in 11 games in this season’s playoffs. “And for me … I haven’t been happy with my offensive output this time of year. I haven’t been dangerous enough, I haven’t been a threat enough, so it was nice to definitely get this one tonight, and hopefully we can build off of this for Wednesday.”
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer’s analysis of Game 6 was fairly simple.
“Two evenly matched teams,” DeBoer said. “What did they do tonight that we didn’t do? They found a way to get an extra goal.”
In addition to having the final game of the series at home, the Sharks might get captain Joe Pavelski back.
Pavelski hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury when his head hit the ice after being cross-checked in Game 7 against Vegas — the Sharks scored four times on the resulting five-minute major to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the third period — but will be a game-time decision, DeBoer said.
Pavelski, who led the Sharks with 38 goals in the regular season, skated with the team Monday for the first time since the injury.
“I’m not hiding anything,” DeBoer told NHL.com before the Sharks left Denver for San Jose on Tuesday. “He’s day-to-day. He’s getting better every day. We’re going to make a decision on game day whether he’s going to be available or not. I don’t have anything more for you. There’s nothing hidden. There’s no secret information here.
“He’d be playing right now if he had a clean bill of health.”
Pavelski said before Game 6 that he was close to returning.
“Yeah, it’s a possibility, I think, and we’ll see,” Pavelski said. “But it still really is day-to-day, I think, and go from there. I wish we had a set-in-stone answer. ‘Go here, do this and be ready.’ We’re just kind of taking everything into play.”
Colorado’s J.T.Compher had two goals and an assist in Game 6.
“It was a huge effort by our team tonight,” Compher said. “We knew it was win or go home, and a bunch of guys stepped up tonight … The plan was to force Game 7, and we were able to do that.”
The Sharks came from behind three times in Game 6 and forced overtime on a goal by Marc-Edouard Vlasic, his second of the game, with 2:28 left in regulation.
“That’s good to see, but we couldn’t finish it. … They won it,” Vlasic said. “We had a chance to finish them, and we didn’t do it.”
So it’s on to Game 7.