Avalanche 1, Sharks 2: Playoff Jones, Playoff Hertl hold off Avalanche

The Sharks are one win away from the Western Conference Final.

The San Jose Sharks were due for a good game after their Game 4 shutout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night, and though it was tighter than they would have liked, that's what they earned in a 2-1 Game 5 victory.

The first period went back and forth, but nobody was able to find the scoresheet. It initially seemed as though Kevin Labanc had the first goal of the game, but that goal was called back because Timo Meier had high-sticked Mikko Rantanen on that same play. There would be a legitimate goal, but not until late in the second period. A bad defensive play from Brent Burns in front of the net led to an Avalanche goal scored by Tyson Jost, though it wasn’t clear if Jost tapped it in or if Burns put it in his own net. Regardless, the Avalanche broke the ice, but the Sharks responded quickly. Tomas Hertl deflected a shot from Logan Couture past Philipp Grubauer to tie the game.

Even after a sloppy start to the third period, the Sharks saw a big goal from who else but Tomas Hertl, cleaning up a rebound once again being parked in front of the net for the eventual game-winning goal. The Avalanche put on pressure late, but Martin Jones rose to the occasion, stopping everything in his sight to give the Sharks a crucial game 5 victory.

After the San Jose Sharks weren’t able to solve Philipp Grubauer in a stinker of a Game 4 loss on Thursday night in Denver, the Sharks are back home for a pivotal Game 5 of this second round series against the Colorado Avalanche.

Joonas Donskoi participated in morning skate today for the Sharks, and while neither Sharks head coach Peter Deboer nor Donskoi himself have confirmed his return to the lineup, it’s certainly looking as if he will play tonight, as Lukas Radil spent some time out with the scratches after practice. I jured captain Joe Pavelski, who has missed this entire series, also took the ice this morning, but was skating with some of the black aces.

As NBC Sports will not let us forget, the reunited line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan Mackinnon and Mikko Rantanen had a good night in their 3-0 victory, combining for one goal, two assists and 13 shots on goal. With Mackinnon’s goal, his playoff point streak has extended to eight games. The Sharks will need to find an answer for this line.

Even though both Martin Jones and Grubauer had great starts on Thursday night, Grubauer won the goaltending battle woth a shutout. Ever since Jones’ absolute nightmare of Games 2-4 against Vegas, he has regained the playoff form that we’re used to, so it was especially frustrating for him to get no goal support. The Sharks have a chance to give Jones the offensive support he’ll need for a win with some home cooking tonight.



Expected scratches: Dylan Gambrell, Tim Heed, Radim Simek, Antti Suomela, Lukas Radil

Injured reserve: Joe Pavelski (undisclosed)

Avalanche (via NHL.com)

Gabriel Landeskog — Nathan Mackinnon — Mikko Rantanen
Colin Wilson — J.T. Compher — Alexander Kerfoot
Matt Nieto — Carl Soderberg — Matt Calvert
Gabriel Bourque — Tyson Jost — Derick Brassard

Ian Cole — Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov — Tyson Barrie
Samuel Girard — Cale Makar

Philipp Grubauer
Semyon Varlamov

Expected scratches: Sven Andrighetto, Patrik Nemeth, Ryan Graves, Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev

Where to watch

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. PDT/10 p.m. EDT from the SAP Center and will be broadcast nationally on NBCSN in the U.S., and on CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada. Audio streaming will be on 98.5 KFOX in the Bay Area and on the Sharks app.

Good evening, Sharks fans! Bryan here from the confines of my room in South SJ. My nervous energy is running high, and I’m sure yours is as well. Let’s watch some playoff hockey together, shall we?

20:00: The puck has dropped and off we go from the Tank!

18:32: Very nice to see Donskoi out on the ice again.

17:01: A bit of a quick whistle from the referee as Vlasic’s shot apparently came loose.

15:18: That’s the first faceoff the Sharks have lost so far tonight.

14:27: Donskoi is hauled down behind the net. No call, apparently.

13:46: We’ve got some extra-curriculars behind the net!

12:57: SCORE! Kevin Labanc gets a pass from Joe Thornton and buries it past Grubauer’s glove-side, and the Sharks... maybe have a lead? The referees are discussing this.

The call has been overturned... and now Timo Meier goes to the box for high-sticking.

11:34: Sharks have done a good job of killing this penalty. Looking back, I think it was the right call, but why don’t you call it immediately? This confuses me.

10:46: Meier comes out of the box and immediately creates a great chance!

9:30: Vlasic back-hands a shot that’s stopped by Grubauer. The Sharks have definitely come out swinging offensively so far in this game, even with the no-goal.

5:17: Avs getting chances now, but Martin Jones won’t have any of that nonsense.

4:06: We’ve got a penalty, and it’s going against the Avalanche. Looks like it’s definitely Rantanen going to the box for a cross-check, but it got busy behind the net and now the referees will have much more to sort out.

Looks like it’s just the cross-check, so now the Sharks head on their first power play.

3:41: Tomas Hertl’s had some quality chances on this man-advantage, but Grubauer negates them.

3:12: Aaaaaand it just happened again.

2:06: Avs’ penalty is as dead as disco.

1:08: Jones with a great save on Rantanen!

0:41: Pierre McGuire comments that Timo Meier is hurt and went straight to the dressing room. Great.

END FIRST: Sharks 0, Avalanche 0

While the Sharks had the majority of scoring chances in the first period, they didn’t have a ton of high-danger chances.

Second Period

20:00: Thankfully, Timo Meier is back on the ice.

19:01: A nice shot by Evander Kane is caught by Grubauer.

17:53: Sharks have had all 6 shots so far in the period.

16:55: A Tyson Barrie slap-shot is blocked by Micheal Haley!

13:45: A great opportunity from the Thornton line is stopped by Grubauer.

13:22: Great save from Martin Jones!

10:29: Carl Soderberg is heading to the box for tripping, and the Sharks head back on the power play!

9:35: It’s looking as if Philipp Grubauer has activated God mode.

7:24: Brenden Dillon high-sticks Nathan Mackinnon and the Sharks will go on the penalty kill.

6:28: Melker Karlsson with a great defensive play leading to a break! He was seemingly tripped by Mikko Rantanen, but no call was made.

5:22: What a great stop by Martin Jones as the penalty kill expires!

5:14: And now the Sharks go right back on the PK as Evander Kane cross-checks Cale Makar. That’s a stupid play, end of conversation.

2:59: And it’s the Avalanche who finally break the ice. I’m not sure who put the puck in the net, but that was woeful from Brent Burns.

It looks like it’s gonna be Tyson Jost’s goal.

1:06: Tyson Barrie gets revenge on Evander Kane for his cross-check on Makar, but he’s sent to the box for interference.

0:19: THEY SCORE FOR REAL THIS TIME! Tomas Hertl deflects a Logan Couture shot past Grubauer, and the Sharks tie the game!

END SECOND: Sharks 1, Avalanche 1

Third Period

19:44: Couture has a breakaway right off the bat but it’s denied by Grubauer.

19:28: Nikita Zadorov is sent to the box for interference, and the Sharks go back o the power play!

17:28: That power play is over.

14:35: The Sharks have looked very sloppy to start the period.

13:34: THEY SCORE!!!!! Tomas Hertl with his second of the game, right there in front of the net once again and puts a puck past Grubauer into the empty net, and the Sharks have the lead!

12:28: After some more extracurriculars, Zadorov is once again in the penalty box, this time for roughing. Sharks back on the power play!


8:49: Zadorov’s back-hand opportunity is denied by Jones!

7:09: A tired Couture shoots the puck wide amidst a line change.

5:52: Gus Nyquist surged in on net with a great pass from Meier, but Grubauer got a blocker on it.

2:15: You gotta think that Grubauer will be pulled soon.

2:05: And, indeed, he is.

1:45: Couture misses the empty net.

1:00: Under a minute to play... here we go.


FINAL SCORE: Sharks 2, Avalanche 1