ST. LOUIS — Martin Jones slid from left to right as David Perron approached, and the San Jose Sharks goalie knocked away the St. Louis Blues forward’s attempt at his third goal of the game.
It was a critical save, one of several Jones made in the third period when the Sharks trailed by a goal. And coming off a second period when he allowed four goals, it was an impressive recovery.
“It [stinks] giving up four, obviously giving up a two-goal lead, twice, so you just stick with it,” Jones told Jeremy Roenick on NBCSN. “We were down one goal, we knew we were still in the game. Anything can happen, especially in the playoffs. … Just want to give our guys a chance.”
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Jones saved all 15 shots he faced in the third period and overtime, and the Sharks rallied to defeat the Blues 5-4 at Enterprise Center on Wednesday. It gave San Jose the lead in the best-of-7 series, with Game 4 at St. Louis on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).
The Blues led 4-3 to start the third period, and it could have been a tricky situation for Jones, who during the second period allowed St. Louis to overcome trailing 2-0 and 3-1.
“The second period, too many turnovers, too many lost battles, but we found a way to come back late in the third and I thought we played really well in overtime,” Jones said.
The Sharks took advantage of the opportunity Jones gave them, with Logan Couture‘s goal tying it 4-4 with 1:01 remaining in the third period.
“He just keeps playing, you know?” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said of Jones. “He’s always done that for us. Feels like the game’s getting a little bit out of hand, they’re getting some Grade A [shots] right down the slot, and he’s coming across, making some huge saves.”
Two of the Blues’ goals went off Sharks defenseman Justin Braun: Vladimir Tarasenko‘s goal at 1:36 went off Braun’s stick, and Perron’s power-play goal at 18:42 hit Braun’s left leg.
“You look at the goals, there was some seeing-eye stuff. It hit us and deflected in a perfect spot,” DeBoer said. “For him to keep his composure, and then we’re chasing the game in the third, you’ve got to open it up, so he’s getting some Grade A looks. I didn’t think there were a lot of Grade A looks in the second period, but in the third he did because we had to open it up, playing from behind. He came up with some huge saves to get it to overtime.”
Jones made 28 saves on 32 shots, with 12 in the third period.
“It gets lost when we tie it up and win it in overtime,” Pavelski said. “But the critical saves he makes down the stretch … [that] buys us some time to tie that thing up, were pretty important, pretty special.”