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game recap

Sharks win Game 5, keep Penguins from Stanley Cup

Pittsburgh squanders chance to win championship at home; Game 6 in San Jose on Sunday

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

PITTSBURGH -- The San Jose Sharks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on Thursday, thanks to the brilliance of goaltender Martin Jones.

The Penguins were trying to win the Stanley Cup at home for the first time, but the Sharks put the party on hold for at least another 72 hours.

"We're alive," said San Jose captain Joe Pavelski, who scored an empty-net goal with 1:20 remaining.

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 at SAP Center in San Jose on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). Game 7 would be here on Wednesday.

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

"This team hasn't quit all year and we're not going to start now," Jones said on the ice after the game. "There's still a long way to go, it's going to be an uphill battle, but we're going to fight till the very end."

San Jose forward Melker Karlsson scored the game-winner with 5:13 remaining in the first period. He misfired on the shot but it wobbled it past Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray for a 3-2 lead.

It was San Jose's third goal on its first five shots against Murray, who was in the conversation for the Conn Smythe Trophy if Pittsburgh had won.

"I felt like I was on top of things tonight, to be honest," said Murray, who made 18 saves. "They kind of fanned on the [third] one. I probably could've played [Brent] Burns' goal a little bit better. I felt really good. I felt like I was on top of it. I was great in the second and third, I thought. I made some good saves."

Burns scored 64 seconds into the game, giving San Jose its first lead of the series, and Logan Couture deflected a Justin Braun shot 1:49 later to make it 2-0. Pittsburgh had not trailed during a game since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on May 20 (it had lost twice in overtime).

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Karlsson beats Murray from the doorstep

"We found a way to get on the board early and that changes the game," San Jose defenseman Paul Martin said. "It especially changes our team and the way that we play. That was big for us to get on the board early. We haven't been able to do that all series and it gave us a little momentum and let them know we were right there."

The Sharks became the 15th team, out of 32, to force Game 6 when trailing a Stanley Cup Final 3-1 (since the best-of-7 format started in 1939). Six of those teams forced Game 7, with one winning the championship (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"We still want to come back here, but there's a lot of work to get to that point and a lot of focus that will be needed and a lot of commitment," Pavelski said. "We're going to need some more of that the same way we had tonight."

What the Sharks had Thursday was a red-hot goalie. Jones blunted the majority of the damage being caused by a surging Penguins team trying to win the first major sports title in Pittsburgh since the Pirates defeated the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

A Consol Energy Center record crowd of 18,680 jammed the arena and thousands more gathered at viewing parties outside the arena and at Market Square ready to celebrate, but Jones made 44 saves, many of them spectacular.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Sharks, Pens erupt for four early goals

"I feel like [Jones] made some big saves, but I feel like there [were] some pucks there that beat him and didn't go in," Crosby said, referencing a double-post shot by Phil Kessel and a crossbar hit by Chris Kunitz, each on the same first-period power play. "I guess if you add everything up, maybe that's the case. But I feel like we still had our chances."

Several of the Penguins' chances were Grade-A opportunities, but Jones was equal to every one after Carl Hagelin tied the game at 2-2 at 5:06 of the first period. Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin scored a power-play goal 22 seconds earlier.

The four goals in 5:06 set a record for the fastest four goals to begin a game in the Stanley Cup Final, quicker than the 6:51 when the Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks each scored twice to start Game 4 in 1992.

Jones then stopped the next 40 shots after the Hagelin goal, including 17 in the second period.

Jones, who made 40 saves in a Game 3, 3-2 overtime win, is the first goaltender in the NHL expansion era (since 1967-68) to have multiple wins in a Cup Final with at least 40 saves, according to Elias.

"[Jones] was great; he made some big-time saves," said Couture, who had a goal and two assists in the first period and leads the playoffs with 29 points. "He's been playing like this for a long time, regular season, playoffs. A lot of people unfortunately don't get to see him, us being on the West Coast. He's been unbelievable for us."

Video: Sharks stay alive with 4-2 win in Game 5

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