Jamie Baker found some luck and the San Jose Sharks refused to fold after blowing a lead Saturday night.
The whole thing left 21-year-old Chris Osgood totally devastated.
In their third year of existence, the Sharks continued their run at NHL history when Baker’s third-period goal lifted them to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the deciding game of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
“We’re still dreaming,” Baker said. “You can’t consider us a contender yet. I mean, we’re an eighth seed. But when you get great goaltending, anything can happen.”
The Sharks are the first team since the 1975 New York Islanders to advance to the second round in their playoff debut.
It marked the second consecutive season that the Red Wings have failed to advance past the first round, losing in Game 7 each time.
“Everybody has been talking about the goaltending all year,” said Osgood, the rookie’s body shaking as he wept. “I wanted to prove everybody wrong. This just proves everybody right.
“If I’d made that play, we’d still be playing. All I can think about is the last 10 minutes of that game.”
Detroit outshot the Sharks, 11-5, in the third period but never seriously challenged Arturs Irbe, who faced 30 shots.
Osgood, who faced 17 shots, cleared the puck to the stick of Baker on the left side. Baker, without hesitation, rifled home a slap shot from inside the blue line at 13:25.
“It came right to me,” Baker said. “It was rolling. But, thank God, it settled about a foot before it got to me. That was all the difference, right there. Otherwise, I might have fanned on it. Who knows?
“It was kind of a fluky goal. I’d just come on the ice. I hadn’t been on three seconds. I got good wood, and it went in.”
The Red Wings pulled Osgood for an extra attacker with 47 seconds remaining, but they managed only one weak shot.
Goals by Johan Garpenlov and Sergei Makarov gave the Sharks an early 2-0 lead. Kris Draper scored late in the first period and Vyacheslav Kozlov pulled the Red Wings into a 2-2 tie early in the second.
“Get a lead. That’s been our script all year,” Shark Coach Kevin Constantine said. “We felt getting off to a big start was the key. The idea all year was to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Detroit had finished first in the conference and fourth overall in the NHL with 100 points. The Sharks, 18 points behind the Red Wings, were eighth in the conference and slipped into the playoffs with a losing record.
Vancouver 4, Calgary 3--Pavel Bure’s second goal of the game, on a breakaway at 2:20 of the second overtime at Calgary, gave the Canucks a victory and a date with the Dallas Stars in the next round of the playoffs, beginning Monday.
It was Vancouver’s second consecutive overtime victory over the Flames, and it came when Bure took a lead pass from Jeff Brown and beat goaltender Mike Vernon. The Canucks became the 10th team since 1987 to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win a playoff series.
Vancouver’s Greg Adams forced the overtime by scoring with 3:37 to play in regulation.
Theoren Fleury scored twice and Ron Stern had a goal for the Flames, who last won a playoff series in their 1989 Stanley Cup championship season.
Geoff Courtnall also scored for the Canucks.