The San Jose Sharks tonight avoided a place in the pantheon of all-time sports choke jobs. Translation of the foregoing: They beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in Game Seven of their NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference semi-final series.

The victory came after a furious closing 90 seconds during which the desperate Wings–who had come back from a 3-0 deficit in the series to force tonight’s game–pulled their goalie and brought a sixth skater into the game to try to tie the score and send the contest into overtime. They almost did when Pavel Datsyuk unleashed a slapshot on Sharks goalie Antti Niemi with about 30 seconds left. The puck ricocheted off NIemi’s mask and neck before he gloved it and hung on.

Maybe the “Sharks Win!” deadline is a little premature. They still need to get past the Vancouver Canucks and whoever will represent the league’s Eastern Conference to win hockey’s holy grail, the Stanley Cup. That’s eight more wins, Sharks fans. The Sharks-Canucks series starts Sunday in Vancouver.

Links
NHL.com: Game recap
San Jose Mercury: Guts and glory: San Jose Sharks win!
San Francisco Chronicle: Collapse averted: Power play, spirit return as Sharks beat Wings 3-2

Author

Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Email Dan at: dbrekke@kqed.org

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