2016 Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Preview: One game at a time

Facing elimination for the second time all postseason, the Sharks head to Pittsburgh hoping to prolong their first Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Did you know that no team has won a Stanley Cup trailing 3-1 in a series since 1942? Did you know that the San Jose Sharks have never won a series when trailing 3-1?

None of that matters.

How about that the San Jose Sharks have not led for a second in this series? Or that the Pittsburgh Penguins have outshot the Sharks in all but one game in this series?

None of that matters, either.

All that does matter? Tonight's game 5. All the Sharks need right now? One win.

In a series where San Jose has seemingly no answer for Pittsburgh's relentless speed or its depth, coming back is a monumental task. But, if any Sharks team can do it, it's the one that will take the ice at the Consol Energy Center tonight.

All year, this team has overcome adversity. From Logan Couture's early season injury, to long losing streaks before the turn of the calendar. From sitting sixth in the division, to emerging as the Western Conference's champion. The Sharks have hurdled every obstacle in their path.

This obstacle is undoubtedly the biggest, but this iteration of the San Jose Sharks is the franchise's most capable of conquering it. This is the team best prepared to send this series back to the SAP Center, for a chance to extend it to a decisive Game 7.

And all of that starts with one win.

Tale Of The Tape
San Jose Sharks


46-30-6 Regular Season Record 48-26-8
3rd in Pacific Regular Season Finish 2nd in Metropolitan
53.3% Regular Season Even Strength, Score-Adj. Fenwick 53.1
100.4 Regular Season PDO 100.7
22.5 Regular Season PP% 18.4
80.5 Regular Season PK% 84.4

5PM PDT | Consol Energy Center | Pittsburgh, Pa.
TV: NBC| Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: PensBurgh

Last Meeting

Evgeni Malkin scored his first points of the series, powering the Penguins to a game 4 win and a 3-1 series lead.

  • Pete DeBoer disputed reports that Tomas Hertl was done for the year, and told reporters that Hertl remains day-to-day.
  • One thing DeBoer absolutely must improve upon is his usage of players in Pittsburgh. It's difficult without last change, He can't afford to let Crosby's line see as much of Tierney's, or the HBK line see as much of Spaling's. These match-up problems could be lessened if he moves Marleau to the third line and Ward to the second, but given yesterday's practice, it looks like the Sharks will keep basically the same lines they have all series.
  • Brent Burns, Logan Couture, and Joe Pavelski are three of the Sharks' four top goal scorers, and none have scored in this series. It doesn't all fall on them, but that needs to change if the Sharks are to extend their season. Burns, in particular, needs to improve on getting his shots through to the net. Burns was able to get just one shot on goal in game 4, and managed just seven shot attempts.
  • The first goal is crucial tonight. The Sharks have not played with a lead all series, but are 9-2 this postseason when scoring first.
  • I have a feeling this won't be the last preview we write this season, and the Sharks hope it isn't, either.