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Sharks Win Game 5, Make History

Overview

The San Jose Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues by a score of 6-3 to win Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The Sharks now lead the series 3-2 and have their 11th win of the playoffs. This is the farthest San Jose has ever made it into the postseason, and they now sit just one win away from making it into the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history.

First Period

St. Louis came out strong to start the game, but it was San Jose that struck first after Marc-Edouard Vlasic fired a seeing-eye wrist shot from the point to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead just 3:51 into the game.

The Blues responded, though, and tied the game just three minutes later. A shot by David Backes hit a body in front of the net, and the puck dropped right onto the stick of Jaden Schwartz. Martin Jones was unable to find the puck as Schwartz buried it short side. The score was 1-1.

The Sharks took the momentum after the goal. Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Chris Tierney, and Joonas Donskoi all had grade-A scoring chances but were unable to convert. And, as luck would have it, St. Louis would strike next.

Jones blockered Paul Stastny’s wrist shot into the air and assumed the puck went into the corner. It didn’t. The puck instead flew into the area of Troy Brouwer, who batted it out of mid-air passed the Sharks’ netminder. 2-1 Blues.

The game took on a more back-and-forth feel after Brouwer’s tally, but San Jose did have some issues connecting on passes and maintaining possession.

The period ended with a score of St. Louis – 2 , San Jose – 1.

Second Period

Team Teal tied the game early in the second period off of a power play opportunity. Vlasic fired a shot off of the goal post and the puck landed right at the feet of Joel Ward. He was able to tap the puck into the open net. 2-2.

St. Louis thought they took the lead moments later, but the goal was disallowed after the whistle blew due to a fight. However, San Jose was assessed an extra minor penalty, and the Blues scored on the advantage. Robby Fabbri took a low shot from the point that snuck under Jones’ left pad, giving his team a 3-2 lead.

Joe Pavelski later tied the game on a San Jose power play after Thornton found him open in the slot. This goal came with 1:27 left in the second period and gave the Sharks the momentum heading into the final 20 minutes.

The second frame ended 3-3.

Third Period

This period was considered by many to be the most important period in San Jose Sharks history. They were tied 3-3 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, with a chance to be within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.

It took the Sharks 16 seconds to take the lead. A Brent Burns shot was going well wide of the net, but Pavelski executed a magnificent tip to beat Jake Allen. It was 4-3 Sharks with almost the entire third period left to go.

The difference between this team and any previous Sharks club is how this team has shown a tendency to push the play even when they are ahead. They no longer sit back on leads; they search for the insurance goal. This showed in the final frame of the game, as San Jose dominated the period and suffocated the Blues in all three zones.

With under a minute remaining in the game, Tierney potted the empty netter. The trio of Patrick Marleau, Thornton, and Tierney established a low cycle in the St. Louis zone to kill the clock. No. 50 played the greatest 30 seconds of his career while he expertly boxed out the Blues’ defenders to keep control of the puck and continue the cycle. He then found open ice behind the net, received the puck from Thornton, and wrapped it around into the goal. 5-3 Sharks with 54 seconds remaining in the game.

Unfortunately, I can’t find a gif of the actually goal, but here’s one of Tierney stealing the puck from Pietrangelo shortly before the tally:

Ward scored a couple of seconds later on an empty netter.

Final Score: Sharks – 6 , Blues – 3. San Jose leads series 3-2.

About Drew Weber

Drew Weber is a lover of hockey and abuser of analytics. Prior to joining Pucknology, he covered the San Jose Sharks and Team USA for The Hockey Writers and contributed briefly to Fear the Fin. You can follow him on Twitter at @puck_over_glass.

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