Three Stars: Tomas Hertl leads way in Sharks’ Game 3 win
After splitting the first two games of the Western Conference finals, the San Jose Sharks took the series lead with their second straight win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.
Here’s who stood out to us:
Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks
It was a night of firsts for Hertl. The big winger recorded his first career multi-goal playoff game and his first career playoff game winner. That one was a beauty, a 45-foot slapper that sailed over Brian Elliott's glove. His second was classic Hertl, a wraparound that showcased his strength and his sweet mitts in tight. "I just try go to net and shoot," he said. "Was a little bit lucky it was in."
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
It didn't take long for Jumbo to reassure everyone that he was feeling no ill effects from that Jay Bouwmeester slash he took on the left hand toward the end of Game 2. He chipped in the secondary assist on Hertl's first tally, picking off an ill-advised pass in the neutral zone and quickly sending it up to Joe Pavelski for the primary. His second helper though was a magic trick: a bank pass off the wall that slipped through the legs of Jaden Schwartz and right on the tape of Hertl, who finished the play with a nifty wraparound.
Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks
A tip o' the cap to Pavelski for his two-assist night, but it's impossible to ignore Jones' efforts. Not that he was tested often—in fact, outside of a Paul Stastny re-direct inside the crease in the third, the Blues peppered him with mostly B-grade attempts. Still, he turned in a clean sheet, his third in his past four games, and bolstered his Conn Smythe credentials by becoming the first San Jose goalie to post back-to-back blanking.
"I think if you look at the games, we've done it as a group," he said. "I'm not being asked to steal these games, just make the saves that you expect your goaltender to make in a conference final." As modest as he is good...