The San Jose Sharks (45-27-10, 3rd Pacific) face a daunting task. Neither they nor the Vegas Golden Knights (51-24-7, 1st Pacific) have won two games in a row in this series, but that's exactly what our boyos will need to do if they want their season to last past the next few days. It's no exaggeration to call this the biggest game of the Sharks' season and very literally a must win, but if they do, their next contest will be even bigger.
The Sharks have played 12 games six in series' where they trail 3-2. Unfortunately, they've only ever won one of those series', a first round come back against the Calgary Flames in 1995. After what could be generously described as a lackluster performance in game five, that is the situation into which they have placed themselves. Despite a bizarre decision to pull Aaron Dell with 2:12 left in the game in the midst of what could have been a roaring comeback for a six on five advantage, and an even bizarrer decision to make Dylan DeMelo one of those six, causing many fans and analysts to wonder how head coach Peter DeBoer gets his shirt on the right way in the morning, the Sharks' loss on Friday night can be most accurately chalked up to sleeping through the first 48 minutes of a playoff game.
On the other side of the ice, with a win tonight, the Knights can become the third team in NHL history to win two rounds of the playoffs in their first season, joining the 1918 Toronto Arenas and the 1968 St. Louis Blues for that honor. While many of us believe that these two teams are playing their hearts out for the right to get stomped on by whoever comes out of the Central division, this futility is likely not shared by players in the locker rooms, or coaches behind the benches.
If San Jose has a chance in this series, it will be in large part due to the production and prominence of Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl. Couture has 12 points and four goals in the playoffs so far, and Hertl has nine points and six goals, including one in each of the past two games. Combining their effectiveness against Vegas' depth at home where line matchups can be more easily targeted could be the key to extending the series one more night. Martin Jones has been a bounce back player all year as well, and he'll need to be tonight.
Don't win two games in a row. Win one game twice. Or win one game once, and then another game once. Or something. This is why they don't interview me.
Evander Kane -- Joe Pavelski -- Joonas Donskoi
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc
Marcus Sorensen -- Eric Fehr -- Melker Karlsson
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Paul Martin, Barclay Goodrow, Joel Ward, Jannik Hansen, Dylan Gambrell
Injured: Joe Thornton (knee)
Golden Knights Lines
Shea Theodore -- Deryk Engelland
Luca Sbisa -- Colin Miller
Injured: William Carrier (undisclosed)
Carrier missed time at the end of game five, and is a game time decision, according to head coach Gerard Gallant. If he can't play, expect one of Nosek, Tatar, or Reaves to draw in in his stead.
E: it's Reaves. Of course it is. Gallant trying to out-idiot our boy.
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App