49ers’ Joe Staley, George Kittle and others spur Sharks’ win over Golden Knights

The San Jose Sharks pulled off a memorable playoff win over the Golden Knights in Round 1 of the NFL Stanley Cup playoffs, where members of the San Francisco 49ers were on hand to cheer on Team Teal in an epic Game 7.

Not all San Francisco 49ers are fans of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks.

But those who are witnessed arguably the best game in Sharks history, who came back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Las Vegas Golden Knights in Round 1 of the Western Conference Stanley Cup playoffs, then had to overcome a three-goal deficit in Game 7, taking the lead late in the third period, only to lose it, finally winning in overtime off a game- and series-clinching goal by Sharks center Barclay Goodrow at the 18:19 mark.

Sound like a lot? Well, it was.

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The Sharks may have benefited from some good graces and the presence of a number of Niners, who were on hand during the epic contest.

Left tackle Joe Staley, right tackle Mike McGlinchey, wide receiver Dante Pettis and tight end George Kittle were all present in one of SAP Center’s luxury boxes. And by accounts, both Staley and McGlinchey were acting less like professional athletes and more like rabid fans:

Even San Jose paid homage to these particular 49ers during the game:

Trailing 3-0 in the third period, it seemed as if the Sharks’ valiant comeback in the series against Vegas was going to wind up being yet another story of playoff underachievement. San Jose has had a long history of failing to deliver in postseason games, and the team has yet to pull off a Stanley Cup championship despite making the playoffs 21 times in its 27-year history.

The Golden Knights, who defeated the Sharks in six games in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs last year, have already been embraced by the Oakland Raiders, who’ll be joining their hockey counterparts as early as 2020.

So it’s only natural the 49ers have strongly embraced San Jose the past two seasons.

And of course, when Goodrow’s overtime goal hit the back of the net, it’s only fitting players like Staley and McGlinchey went absolutely insane:

The Sharks now head off to face the Colorado Avalanche in Round 2 of the playoffs, and it’s anyone’s guess how that series — and San Jose’s postseason aspirations, for that matter — will end.

For now, at least, both the Sharks and 49ers seem perfectly content and happy with the results from Tuesday night’s epic contest.

Maybe the Niners can capture some of that playoff magic and bring it back to Levi’s Stadium this season.