The San Jose Sharks have taken game 5 of the NHL Western Conference Finals with a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. With the series now at 3-2 San Jose, the Sharks are now just one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history.
3:51 (1-0): San Jose Sharks Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was the one to strike first with a slapshot from right in front of the blue-line, his first of the postseason.
7:04 (1-1): It did not take long for the Blues to respond. Jaden Schwartz potted a goal for the Blues on a close wrist shot to tie the game.
15:08 (1-2): St. Louis scored a second unanswered goal with a Troy Brouwer wrist shot while Martin Jones was caught out of position in the crease.
4:37 (2-2): With only one second left on the first powerplay of the day, Sharks’ forward Joel Ward sneaked in wrist shot from the back side of Blues’ goaltender Jake Allen.
11:58 (2-3): The Blues’ Robby Fabbri responded with a powerplay goal of his own with a slap shot from an assist by Colton Parayko.
18:33 (3-3): San Jose remained perfect on the powerplay with another slap shot goal by the stick of Joe Pavelski assisted by Joe Thornton.
00:16 (4-3): Joe Pavelski got his second goal of the game with a tip-in from a shot by Brent Burns.
19:06 (5-3): Chris Tierney joined in on the fun with a quick wrap-around goal on the empty net of St. Louis.
19:27 (6-3): Joel Ward got his second goal of the game with an unassisted wrist shot from neutral ice onto the St. Louis empty net to give the Sharks the 6-3 victory.
What We Learned
- The San Jose Sharks do not go down easy when it comes to trying to force a second straight loss. They came back fighting after having lost 6-3 to St. Louis in game 4 of the conference finals.
- The San Jose powerplay came back into effect once more in game 5. They finished 2-for-3 on the man advantage. San Jose had their faceoff wins to thank for their ability to establish an offensive front on the powerplay.
- St Louis rookie Robby Fabbri is making quite a name for himself this postseason. His goal on Monday was his fourth of the postseason. He is also letting opposing players know that despite his young age (20), he isn’t afraid to deliver hard hits to the NHL veterans.
- Thus far, the difference-maker this series is Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues, and not in a positive way either. In the conference finals, Tarasenko has accounted for a total of zero points despite having the most time on the ice. Along with his inability to score goals, Tarasenko’s game 5 plus-minus totaled to -2.
With the 3-2 series lead and the teams returning to the SAP Center for game 6, San Jose needs to take advantage of the situation. San Jose now has the ability to close a Western Conference Finals series for the first time ever in team history.
But, San Jose cannot slack off one bit and be “cautious.” St. Louis is going to come into the SAP Center as strong as ever with nothing to hold back. As much as San Jose has the ability to close out the series, St. Louis has the ability to extend it and force another heart-stopping game 7.
Jake Allen will most likely be the starter for St. Louis in game 6 as will Martin Jones for San Jose. Neither team has any sustainable injuries so be prepared for a physical war on Wednesday between the two teams.
Game 6 is set for Wednesday, May 25 at 6:00 PM (PDT) / 9:00 PM (EDT) at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The game will air live on NBC Sports Network and NBC Live Extra.
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