The Sharks live to fight another day. San Jose beat the Penguins 4-2 on Thursday in game five of the Stanley Cup Final to send the series back to SAP Center on Sunday. Martin Jones and Logan Couture deserve most of the plaudits as the San Jose goaltender made 44 saves and Couture picked up three points.
Joe Pavelski scored an empty-net tally with just over a minute to go to put the game to bed and Melker Karlsson had the game-winning tally.
Now the Sharks can tie the series up on Sunday. After going behind 3-1 through four games, San Jose needed something of a miracle to win its first ever Stanley Cup. Well, part one of that miracle is complete, now.
San Jose got its first lead of the Stanley Cup Final — and it came early in game five. Melker Karlsson chased the puck down below the Pittsburgh goal line and Brent Burns carried it below the dots and fired it past Matt Murray, who was badly out of position.
That lead quickly jumped to two as Logan Couture got a tip on a shot from Justin Braun to put the Sharks on top by a pair of goals. It didn't last long, though.
Dainius Zubrus committed a delay of game penalty and the Penguins capitalized quickly. Evgeni Malkin threw a puck off of Braun’s skate and it bounced past Martin Jones. Just 22 seconds later, Nick Bonino took a shot off Carl Hagelin to beat Jones from distance to tie things up.
Pittsburgh absolutely shelled the Sharks for the next several minutes as the Penguins got a few scoring chances on their second power play of the night. San Jose survived that push and eventually retook the lead behind a goal from Karlsson. A nice play at the point by Burns helped keep the puck in the Pittsburgh zone and it was a beautiful pass by Couture to Karlsson that set up the tally.
The Sharks took a 3-2 lead into each intermission, thanks almost exclusively to the work of Martin Jones in net. San Jose was dominated in the second period but its netminder stood tall time and again to keep the Sharks in front after two.
San Jose weathered the Pittsburgh storm for most of the third period and eventually got its second chance on the power play of the evening after a great scoring chance was denied by Murray. The Sharks held some possession on the player-advantage but didn’t create much in terms of scoring chances. So with four minutes to play, San Jose held a 3-2 lead.
Sharks goals (assists): Brent Burns (Melker Karlsson, Logan Couture), Couture (Justin Braun), Karlsson (Couture, Dillon), Joe Pavelski (Joe Thornton)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Martin Jones
2) Logan Couture
3) Melker Karlsson