With two goals in Game 5 on Thursday night, Sharks forward Tomas Hertl helped his team avoid elimination. Then he guaranteed the fans that there will be a Game 7 back in San Jose against the Vegas Golden Knights.
"I know we have one more game, and come back for Game 7," Hertl said after the 5-2 victory over the Knights cut the series deficit to 3-2. "I believe it. We're a better team than them."
That remains to be seen, but the Sharks were good enough to send the first-round series back to Las Vegas for Sunday's Game 6. Hertl played an essential role in that victory, simply by getting the Sharks on the scoreboard first and giving his goaltender Martin Jones some confidence in the process.
Jones had struggled mightily as the Sharks lost three straight games, getting pulled in Games 2 and 4. He gave up a goal 58 seconds into Game 2, just 16 seconds into Game 3 and 1:11 into Game 4.
But Hertl flipped the script in Game 5, lasering a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury (24 saves) at 1:16 of the first period to give the Sharks a lead they would never surrender.