5 takeaways from San Jose's insane Game 7 victory over Vegas
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Hockey fans and analysts are still processing what happened in San Jose on Tuesday night.

The conclusion of the San Jose Sharks' 5-4 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 of their first-round series featured nearly as much controversy as it did excitement.

Here are five takeaways from a contest we won't be forgetting anytime soon:

Eakin shouldn't have been ejected

The play that resulted in Sharks captain Joe Pavelski leaving the ice leaking blood certainly looked bad in the moment, but Golden Knights forward Cody Eakin shouldn't have been given the gate for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, while Eakin did cross-check the Sharks captain, Paul Stastny's hit a moment later was what sent Pavelski tumbling awkwardly to the ice.

More importantly, a major penalty wasn't warranted, and Jonathan Marchessault was right to call attention to that postgame.

Gallant should have used his timeout earlier

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While the major penalty is a legitimate issue for the Golden Knights, they wouldn't have needed to complain if their head coach recognized how momentum was shifting early in the late-game collapse.

Gerard Gallant should have called a timeout after Tomas Hertl's goal, San Jose's second marker in a 49-second span that cut the Golden Knights' lead to 3-2 with 9:51 remaining.

Instead, he used his timeout with 3:39 left in the third period. The damage was already done by then, as Kevin Labanc had given the Sharks a 4-3 lead with the team's fourth power-play goal three minutes earlier.

Gallant's gaffe was just one of several missed opportunities for the Golden Knights, and their demise shouldn't have come down to that fateful penalty kill. After all, Vegas blew a 3-1 series lead and still earned an opportunity to win Game 7 in overtime after Marchessault's late equalizer.

That finish may have been the craziest ever

Hyperbole and recency bias often become even more prevalent at playoff time, but there's no question this game's finish was one of the wildest we've ever seen.

WIth the controversy, the Sharks' stunning and methodical response to Pavelski's injury, Marchessault's answer in the final minute, and an overtime winner from a rather unlikely source in Barclay Goodrow, the latter half of the third period and overtime provided an incredible conclusion to the series.

Only one other team in NHL history had ever overcome a three-goal deficit in the third period to win a Game 7, and fans of the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are more than familiar with the first instance.

While the Bruins scored twice in the final two minutes of their 2013 comeback for added dramatic effect, that game didn't include a serious injury to a team captain and a questionable call to ignite the rally.

Are the Sharks the best team left?

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Considering what else has transpired early in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, San Jose might just be the most talented squad remaining.

The Bruins, Washington Capitals, and New York Islanders can all make legitimate cases. But now that the Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames, and Nashville Predators have been eliminated (all top-three seeds), the Sharks are possibly the best club left standing as we near the end of the first round.

From goaltender Martin Jones' resurgence to the team's overall depth and star power, San Jose proved its mettle in Round 1 and now looks primed for a deep run.

San Jose had the right mix to overcome Pavelski's injury

This Sharks team is different from previous years when it folded under pressure. A hardened, veteran group was able to rally around Pavelski's absence rather than allow it to hinder them, as Logan Couture eluded to postgame.

Sure, Joe Thornton has long been one of the Sharks' unquestioned leaders. But the additions of Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane - along with the growth of players like Couture, Brent Burns, Jones, and Hertl - has galvanized this San Jose club.

Game 7 was a prime example of San Jose's experience, improved leadership, and resilient attitude that wasn't present in past years.

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5 takeaways from San Jose's insane Game 7 victory over Vegas
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