Pavs, Sharks stave off elimination
The Latest from Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks. The Penguins lead the series 3-2. (All times local):
It's back to San Jose for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday.
The Sharks are 2-0 this postseason when facing elimination. The Penguins squandered an opportunity to become the first Pittsburgh team to win a championship at home since the Pirates won Game 7 of the 1960 World Series over the New York Yankees on Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run.
The Sharks trail the series 3-2 following a 4-2 win on Thursday. The only other time they faced elimination this postseason, San Jose defeated Nashville 5-0 in Game 7 of their second-round series.
Sharks captain Joe Pavelski earned his first point of the series by securing the victory with an empty-net goal.
Martin Jones stopped 44 shots, Logan Couture had a goal and two assists and the San Jose Sharks avoided elimination by hanging on for a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night.
Melker Karlsson, Brent Burns and captain Joe Pavelski, into an empty net, also scored for the Sharks, who cut the Penguins' series lead to 3-2 and forced Game 6 at San Jose on Sunday.
Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin scored 26 seconds apart in the first period of a game the Penguins outshot the Sharks 46-22.
Aside from Pavelski's goal, the rest of the scoring came in the first period, and included the teams combining to score two each in the first 5:06 to set a Cup final series record for fastest four goals to start a game.
The Sharks squandered a 2-0 lead before Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal with 5:13 left in the first. Set up in the slot by Couture's no-look pass, Karlsson snapped a shot that banked in off the bottom of goalie Matt Murray's glove.
The Sharks are one period away from sending the Stanley Cup Final series back to San Jose for Game 6 on Sunday.
Up 3-2 on the Pittsburgh Penguins entering the third period, the Sharks are 8-0 this postseason when leading after two periods.
The Penguins, meanwhile, are 0-4 this postseason when trailing after two periods. Pittsburgh, which leads the series 3-1, is attempting to win its fourth Cup, and do it for the first time on home ice.
Martin Jones stopped all 17 shots he faced in the second period in helping the San Jose Sharks preserve their 3-2 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jones was particularly sharp during a 50-second span beginning with about 5 minutes left in the frame.
First, he stopped Phil Kessel's shot from the left circle, and then kicked out his left pad to stop Nick Bonino attempting to backhand in the rebound from the slot. Off the next faceoff, Jones got a piece Connor Sheary's shot that was deflected in front. Finally, Jones stood his ground and got his blocker out just in time to stop Patric Hornqvist driving alone to the net and getting a shot off from his knees.
Jones has allowed two goals on 32 shots. Penguins rookie Matt Murray has given up three goals on 15 shots.
Pittsburgh leads the series 3-1 and was hoping to win the Cup at home Thursday night.
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari provided a thumbs-up to the up-tempo, high-scoring first period.
He posted a picture from the stands of the Consol Energy Center and a note on his Twitter account after the Penguins had scored twice in 22 seconds to tie the game at 2.
Referring to the goal surge as "exciting stuff!" Calipari added the Penguins' fast-break wouldn't look out of place at the Wildcats home, Rupp Arena.
San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture has regained his scoring touch in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Couture has a goal and two assists in helping the Sharks build a 3-2 lead over the Penguins. That comes after Couture was held to just two assists this series, and held without a point the previous two games.
Couture has now upped his playoff-leading point total to 29 (nine goals, 20 points). He had already surpassed the Sharks' franchise record for playoff points set by Igor Larionov, who had 18 points in 14 games in 1994.
The San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins have set a Stanley Cup Final record by combining to score four goals in the first 5:06.
Each team scored twice in what were the fastest four goals scored to open a game in the final series, according to Elias Sports.
The Penguins were involved in setting the old mark in 1992 when they and the Chicago Blackhawks combined to score four goals in the first 6:51 of Game 4 of the final series. Pittsburgh went on to win the game 8-2 and complete a four-game sweep of the Blackhawks.
Down 3-2 after the first period to San Jose, the Pittsburgh Penguins headed into intermission trailing on the scoreboard for the first time in three weeks.
The Sharks opened the scoring for the first time in this Stanley Cup Final on Brent Burns' goal just 1:04 into the game. Burns' goal also ended the Penguins streak of not trailing in a game at 436 minutes and 50 seconds. It was a run that began following a 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final on May 20.
The Penguins have gone 5-2 since, with both losses coming in overtime.
The Sharks then opened a 2-0 lead on Logan Couture's redirection of Justin Braun's point shot. Pittsburgh responded with two goals in a span of 22 seconds as the two teams combined to score four times in the first 5:06.
San Jose regained the lead on Melker Karlsson's goal with 5:15 left in the period.
Penguins rookie goalie Matt Murray made just four saves on seven shots.
Sharks goalie Martin Jones stopped 13 of 15 shots.
The San Jose Sharks have taken a 3-2 lead on Melker Karlsson's goal scored with 5:15 left in what's been a highly entertaining first period.
Logan Couture set up the goal with a no-look pass to a wide-open Karlsson in the slot. Karlsson quickly snapped a shot that banked in off the bottom of goalie Matt Murray's glove.
Couture now has a goal and two assists.
The posts have been ringing in Pittsburgh.
After erasing a two-goal deficit, the Pittsburgh Penguins took over the momentum. Chris Kunitz snapped a shot from the left circle that banged off the left post with 11 minutes left in the first period. Some 10 seconds later, Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel had a shot from near the same spot deflect off both posts. Kessel's shot first hit off the left post and then caromed across the crease and hit the right post, before deflecting out.
Both chances came during a power-play opportunity, with San Jose defenseman Brent Burns off for high-sticking.
Goals are coming fast in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final.
The Sharks scored goals 1:49 apart in the first period of Game 5 to take a 2-0 lead, stunning a Pittsburgh crowd eager to celebrate a Stanley Cup championship. The Penguins led the best-of-seven series 3-1 heading into Thursday night's game.
Brent Burns gave the Sharks their first lead of the final with a goal just 64 seconds into the game. Logan Couture then deflected in Justin Braun's shot from the right point to put the San Jose Sharks up 2-0 at the 2:53 mark.
It didn't last long: The Penguins answered with goals just 22 seconds apart. Evgeni Malkin cashed in on a power play and Carl Hagelin added another to make it 2-2 just 5:06 into the game.
By the numbers:
Teams with a 3-1 series lead have gone on to win the Cup 31 of 32 times. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the lone NHL team to overcome a 3-0 deficit to win.
The Penguins have not trailed over past 435 minutes and 46 seconds of game time. They're 5-2 during that stretch, with both losses in overtime.
With 14 playoff wins, Penguins goalie Matt Murray is one shy of matching NHL rookie record for one postseason set by Patrick Roy in 1986, and matched by Ron Hextall in `87 and Cam Ward in 2006.
The Sharks set a franchise record with 28 regular-season road wins, though they're 5-6 on the road in the playoffs.
San Jose goalie Martin Jones has allowed 19 goals in his past seven games since posting consecutive shutouts against St. Louis in Games 2-3 of Western Conference final.
Both teams have converted just one of eight power-play chances.
With three Cup championships, Pittsburgh is tied for ninth on the list with New Jersey. The New York Rangers and Islanders are tied for seventh with four each.
Pittsburgh is ready for the biggest party in 56 years.
Thousands of fans descended on the streets surrounding Consol Energy Center on Thursday ahead of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins can become the first Pittsburgh team to win a championship at home since Bill Mazeroski's epic ninth-inning home run against the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.
Scalpers were asking $1,500 just to get in the door, though business was slow two hours before game time. With temperatures around 70 degrees and little humidity, many decided against forking over a mortgage payment in exchange for a folding chair, a frosty beverage or two and starting "Let's Go Pens!" chants.
The city and team have worked together to put a massive big screen television outside an arena gate, and added a second viewing spot at a downtown shopping square about a mile away.
Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is hoping Evgeni Malkin's performance in Game 4 can carry over into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against San Jose.
Malkin posted his first points of the series with a goal and assist in a 3-1 victory at San Jose on Monday night. The goal, which put Pittsburgh up 2-0, stood up as the winner.
Sullivan says he's seen Malkin's performance improving both offensively and defensively as the series progresses.
Sidney Crosby has just two assists against San Jose, and is in the midst of a five-game scoring drought.
Defenseman Kris Letang has three assists, all of them setting up eventual winning goals.
San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer has a simple objective when it comes to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Scoring first would be a welcome change, DeBoer told reporters earlier in the day.
That's something the Sharks haven't done yet in a series they trail 3-1.
DeBoer, however, didn't want to paint his team into a corner. Should the Sharks not score first, he said, "we can't just back the bus up and head home."
DeBoer at least cleared up one issue regarding his lineup by announcing center Tomas Hertl will miss his third straight game with a lower-body injury.
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins have an opportunity to accomplish something not done since the final months of the Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency: Win a championship at home.
With a 3-1 Stanley Cup Final series lead over San Jose, the Penguins will get that opportunity at the Consol Energy Center on Thursday night.
Pittsburgh hasn't had a chance to celebrate a title on home soil since Oct. 13, 1960. That's when Bill Mazeroski led off the ninth inning with a home run to clinch a 10-9 Game 7 victory over the New York Yankees at Forbes Field.
The Penguins celebrated their previous three championship victories on the road: at Minnesota in 1991, at Chicago in `92 and at Detroit in 2009.
The Pirates clinched their previous two World Series titles at Baltimore, in 1979 and `71, both in Game 7, while the Steelers' six Super Bowl titles have all come at neutral sites.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are one victory away from clinching their fourth Stanley Cup championship.
Pittsburgh returns home for Game 5 on Thursday night holding a 3-1 series lead over the San Jose Sharks.
Forward Phil Kessel leads the Penguins in the playoffs with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists). Rookie goalie Matt Murray has allowed just seven goals in four games against the Sharks.
The Penguins are seeking to win their second title since 2009. The Sharks are attempting to avoid elimination in making the franchise's first Cup Final appearance.
The Sharks have yet to hold a lead this series. They rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Pittsburgh 3-2 in overtime in Game 3.
A Sharks victory would force Game 6 at San Jose on Sunday.