Skip to main content
Stanley Cup Final

Sharks need more 'big-game performances'

DeBoer says San Jose must play even better against Penguins in Game 6 of Cup Final

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks lost the statistical battle but won Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday.

Survival, not style points or statistics, was what mattered most to Sharks coach Peter DeBoer.

"I think the one thing is we're 105 games into this season," DeBoer said Friday, one day after the Sharks were outshot 46-22 but avoided elimination with a 4-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center. "You got to win all kinds of different ways. Some nights it's your special teams, some nights it's 5-on-5, some nights it's your goalie. So we make no apologies for how a win looks. 

"When you play that many games you've got to win them all kinds of different ways, and the bottom line was we found a way. We're heading back home and we got to make sure we take care of business in Game. 6."

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Jones makes 44 saves in Game 5 win

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2. Game 6 is Sunday at SAP Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports), where the Sharks are 8-3 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season and 1-1 vs. Pittsburgh.

The Sharks got a 44-save game from goaltender Martin Jones and a huge night from second-line center Logan Couture, who scored a goal and had two assists in Game 5. DeBoer said he'll need even more heroes for the Sharks to win on Sunday and force a Game 7 in Pittsburgh.

"This is the time of year your backs are against the wall," DeBoer said. "People have to step up with big-game performances. We got a couple last night from those guys. We've got to get a couple more in Game 6 here to give us a chance in Game 7."

The Penguins had 76 shot attempts to 36 for San Jose but got two of those past Jones. 

Pittsburgh's first goal came on the power play when Evgeni Malkin banked a shot off of Sharks defenseman Justin Braun's skate and past Jones at 4:44 of the first period. The second came 22 seconds later when Nick Bonino's shot deflected off of Penguins forward Carl Hagelin in front of the net and got by Jones.

Video: DeBoer on Jones' play in Game 5 win vs. Pens

At that point, the Penguins had two goals on three shots. Jones stopped their final 43 shots on goal.

"If he doesn't have that performance we're not playing another game," DeBoer said. "I think he recognized the importance of the situation and, you know, stood up and was our best player. Game 6 it might have to be somebody else, but that's what good teams do."

DeBoer said the Sharks will have to play better to force a Game 7.

"The most important thing for us to win Game 6 will be I think us just coming out and playing our best game," DeBoer said. "I know their record after losses is very good. They're going to rebound with a very good game.

"Our game's going to have to be as good a game as we played all year if we went to push this to seven. I think our guys know that."

View More