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After guarantee, Sharks' Tomas Hertl forces Game 7 vs. Golden Knights with double-OT goal

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 4/22/2019 Jace Evans
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Following the Sharks' 5-2 win Thursday, which cut their series deficit against the Vegas Golden Knights to 3-2, forward Tomas Hertl made a declaration that the series would be coming back to San Jose for a Game 7. 

"We know we have one more game, then come back for Game 7, and I believe it because we're a better team than them," the 25-year-old native of the Czech Republic said to hometown roars after that game. 

On Sunday, Hertl delivered on that promise.

In stunning fashion, Hertl scored the game-winner in double overtime while the Sharks were short-handed, sending the series back to San Jose for a winner-take-all showdown on Tuesday. 

Hertl's winner came at 11:17 of the second extra period with Barclay Goodrow in the box for slashing and gave the Sharks a 2-1 win in Game 6 in Las Vegas. NHL PR said Hertl's goal was the first short-handed tally beyond the first overtime in the league's history.  

"At first moment when I get it, I was already a little bit tired, I was thinking maybe just dump it in and change, but I saw a little bit of space, so I just take a couple of steps and try shoot it,” Hertl said of his overtime goal. “If you don’t try you never know, so I tried it and it somehow get through, and for sure huge goal.”

While he deservedly gets credit for the goal that staved off elimination — after guaranteeing the Sharks would win — San Jose would not have even been in position for Hertl's goal without the stellar play of Martin Jones.

Maligned all season, and even earlier in this series, Jones responded with a sterling 58-save effort. 

“To (the Golden Knights') credit, they want to close this out tonight at home and they pushed hard and Jonesy made some big saves,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “I thought we defended well, even though we were on our heels a little bit. I thought it was a gutsy effort on the road in a tough situation by our group and we’re still alive.”

Logan Couture scored the Sharks' other goal in the waning moments of the first period. On the other side, Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves on 29 shots before the overtime winner eluded him. 

“Obviously, it’s a tough one,” said Vegas goal-scorer Jonathan Marchessault. “I felt like we were the better team, but sometimes these games can feel a little tricky. We definitely kept buzzing and kept going. … Obviously disappointed, I think tonight we should have won, but who cares. Got to go Game 7 and get it done over there.”

Hertl, for his part, is looking forward to what's next.  

“Game 7 is the most fun game you can play in the NHL," he said. 

Contributing: Associated Press 

a person skiing on the snow © Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: After guarantee, Sharks' Tomas Hertl forces Game 7 vs. Golden Knights with double-OT goal

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