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Stanley Cup Final

Sharks' Jones needs lighter workload

San Jose must help goalie more in Game 6

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- If he hadn't done so before, San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones earned full trust from his teammates with his 44-save gem in a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on Thursday.

The Sharks' goal now, however, is to make sure Jones doesn't have to work so hard in Game 6 at SAP Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

"They're a team that's a lot like (the Los Angeles Kings) where it doesn't matter where they are on the ice, blue line, below the goal line, every puck's going on net," Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon said after practice Saturday. "I think last game was definitely a lot more higher-risk chances that we gave up than we'd like, absolutely.

"I thought [Jones] played well. He came out hard for us and played a great game. For us, I think that's the biggest adjustment we're going to have to make is just having better sticks, having five guys tighter around, blocking shots, getting in lanes. It's a collective effort when you have a team as good as they are. I think that's something that we did really well in Game 4 and not as well in Game 5."

The Sharks allowed 20 shots in Game 4 in San Jose. They lost 3-1, but San Jose unveiled a blueprint for limiting the Penguins' shots on goal.

Video: Martin Jones talks with NHL Network's Jamie Hersch

"I think we need to have (a) similar game that we did here," Sharks defenseman Paul Martin said. "We did limit their shots, gave up 20 or so the last time we played them here. They just get the puck and fling it to the net and hope for second and third opportunities.

"They shoot from everywhere. We just have to try to get to those pucks before they do and not let them get that sling to the net where they have guys headed."

Defenseman Justin Braun said it's a matter of the Sharks using their sticks better to take pressure off Jones.

"They try to get a lot of pucks to the net and we were letting a lot of them through," Braun said of Game 5. "We've just got to do a better job from the [defensemen] out blocking shots, getting in the lanes."

The Sharks defeated Pittsburgh 3-2 here in Game 3. Then in Game 4 they out-shot the Penguins the only time this series thus far, 24-20.

Playing at home matters, according to Sharks forward Tommy Wingels.

"You get the matchups you want, you can feel the energy in the building," Wingels said. "We just got to find a way to limit their offense. We're giving up too many easy shots. That's something we can fix, something we've talked about, changing a little bit, and we intend to do that.

"Break out better, play in the [offensive] zone better. It's all your clichés; don't turn pucks over. It's a whole bunch of things. We'll get back to that and we'll be fine."

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