End of third period: San Jose goalie Martin Jones, with some help from forward Logan Couture, extended the series to a Game 6 on Sunday.
Jones made 44 saves and Couture figured in all three non-empty net San Jose goals as the Sharks won 4-2 and now trail the best-of-7 series 3-2 heading back to Northern California.
A record crowd was on hand at Consol Energy Center and thousands of other fans had massed outside the building and in Market Square to celebrate the first championship won in Pittsburgh by a local team since 1960, but it was not meant to be.
Video: SJSJ@PIT, Gm5: Pavelski scores empty-net goal
10:52 into third period: The Penguins show no signs of slowing down.
They have seven shots in the first 11 minutes and have forced Martin Jones into several more quality saves.
But, it is Matt Murray with the biggest save of the period, stoning Patrick Marleau on a one-timer from between the circles after a great pass by Logan Couture from the end boards.
Pittsburgh needs to find an equalizer to extend this game and avoid a tricky return trip to San Jose for Game 6 on Sunday.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Murray denies Couture's backhander
Start of third period: The numbers are a bit sobering for the Sharks, who lead 3-2.
They are being out-shot 32-15 and out-attempted 54-26. Pittsburgh, simply, has carried the majority of the play. Carl Hagelin has five shots, one-third of what the entire San Jose team has managed.
San Jose coach Pete DeBoer has shortened his bench a bit. Defenseman Brenden Dillon has played only 6:41 and his partner Roman Polak has played 8:43.
The Sharks know they will have to have a stronger period if they hope to hold on and extend this series back to California for Game 6.
End of second period: San Jose still leads 3-2, but the Penguins carried play during those 20 minutes.
Martin Jones had to make 17 saves in the second period to keep a rampaging Pittsburgh team at bay. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray appears to have settled down after a tough first period, He made eight saves, including two big ones late in the period.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Jones robs Bonino with unreal pad save
15:16 into second period: Jones has been a difference maker for the Sharks in Game 5. He just made a two-save sequence that was among his best of the night, stopping Phil Kessel from distance and then somehow getting his body to the put-back attempt by Nick Bonino.
The Pens have a 30-13 lead in shots, but San Jose has a 3-2 lead in goals and a lot of the credit can go to Jones.
8:42 of second period: The start to the second period has not been as breakneck as the first six minutes of the first period, but it has been just as compelling.
The Penguins came out and took control early and held the Sharks to no shots for the first five minutes and managed five of their own. But, then, the Sharks got a power play and managed a four-shot barrage that tested goalie Matt Murray.
The other highlight of the first period was a bullish rush by Evgeni Malkin, against defenseman Brent Burns. A star-against-star showdown that ended with Malkin shooting wide.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Pittsburgh great Mazeroski cheers Pens
Start of second period: Lost in all the goal-scoring of the first period was the brilliance of second-line center Logan Couture, who was involved in all three goals by San Jose.
Couture, the Sharks best player since the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, tied a NHL record with the three points in one period.
Couture has a playoff-best 29 points this postseason, the fourth-highest total since 1997, tied with Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. Danny Briere of the Philadelphia Flyers (30) in 2010 and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (31) and Evgeni Malkin (36), each in 2010, are the only players to score more points.
End of first period: San Jose leads 3-2 in the wildest first period of the series.
The teams combined to score four goals in the first 5:06 of the game, a Stanley Cup Final record for fastest four goals to open a game. The old record was 6:51, by the Penguins (2) and Blackhawks (2) in Game 4 in 1992.
It was also the most goals scored in the first period since Game 1 in 2010 when the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers combined for five in the first 20 minutes of Game 1.
Five goals is also the most scored in any game this series.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Karlsson beats Murray from the doorstep
14:47 into first period: Somehow, the Sharks are back in the lead.
Forward Melker Karlsson scored for the second straight game, this time with a shot from the slot that went five-hole on goalie Matt Muray.
The Sharks scored on two of the first three shots of the game and then were out-shot 11-1 by a rampaging Penguins team before the Karlsson goal.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Kessel finds iron
10:24 into first period: Absolute chaos here.
Pittsburgh gets another power play -- Brent Burns for high-sticking -- and the Penguins come ever so close on two different occasions. Chris Kunitz hit the cross bar with an absolutely hammered one-timer and then Phil Kessel beat Martin Jones with a shot, only to see it hit the inside post, skitter across the goal line, and hit the far post before bouncing out.
By the way, there are a few celebrities here for this occasion. Former Pittsburgh defenseman Darius Kasparaitis is here, as is Pirates legend Bill Mazeroski and a trio of Steelers: Antonio Brown, Heath Miler and Brett Keisel.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Hagelin deflects equalizer past Jones
5:05 into first period: Well, the crowd is alive again.
The Penguins scored two goals in 22 seconds to erase the San Jose lead.
Evgeni Malkin scored for the second straight game, on the power play again, to cut the lead in half. San Jose forward Dainius Zubrus had taken a delay of game penalty for clearing puck over the glass.
Twenty-one seconds later, Carl Hagelin redirected a shot from Nick Bonino past Jones.
It is party time once again hear in Consol Energy Center as the game-opening hiccup is already a distant memory.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Malkin banks it past Jones for PPG
2:53 into first period: The Sharks score again. This time, it is Logan Couture deflecting a shot from the point by Justin Braun, getting inside the Penguins defense in a way that has been all too infrequent in this series.
The crowd is a bit gobsmacked by these quick goals and is trying to find its footing. The celebratory atmosphere of 10 minutes earlier is considerably muted.
Not sure the Sharks could draw up a better start.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Couture deflects it past Murray
1:04 into first period: Well, this is not the start these fans at Consol Energy Center wanted, but it is exactly the start the San Jose Sharks wanted.
Burns scored from the left faceoff circle after an aggressive forecheck from Karlsson.
It is Burns' seventh goal of the playoff, but his first of the Final.
It is also San Jose's first lead in the series.
The fans were momentarily stunned by this turn of events, but are starting to pick up their momentum again.
Video: SJS@PIT, Gm5: Burns opens the scoring early
8:19 p.m. ET: The atmosphere at Consol Energy Center is off the charts during warmups. The crowd, again decked out in gold T-shirts, raged through the entire pregame presentation, making it hard to hear the announcer or the music at certain times.
"Let's Go Pens!" chants started organically every few minutes, echoing off the roof and ringing around the arena.
As the team stormed onto the ice for introductions, the opening notes of Metallica's "Seek and Destroy" were completely drowned out by the noise from the crowd.
By the way, there is not one, but two, viewing parties in Pittsburgh tonight. There is a massive one by the arena and another one further downtown in Market Square. The turnout in the city for this event, on a picture-perfect night, is just breathtaking.
7:50 p.m. ET: Warmups are going on now and Consol Energy Center is already more than half full. That is a rarity in any building and just another clue to how big a night this is for the Pittsburgh sports fan.
Forward Nick Bonino is on the ice for the Penguins. He missed practice Wednesday and the morning skate Thursday. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan termed each absence as maintenance and that seems to be the case.
No Tomas Hertl for the Sharks, as expected. The Czech forward, who plays on the San Jose top line, will miss his third straight game with a lower-body injury.
6:45 p.m. ET: Fans are just starting to file into Consol Energy Center for Game 5, but the arena remains relatively empty and quiet.
The same can't be said about outside Consol Energy Arena. Fans started claiming spots for the viewing party outside the arena at before morning skates even started. By 3 p.m., the normal footprint of previous watch parties was already filled. By 5 p.m., the area around the foot of the arena was a sea of people, filled with anticipation for the Penguins to win the Cup on this night.
If Pittsburgh can win Game 5, it will be the first major sports championship won in the city since the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the New York Yankees in the World Series.
The atmosphere has been building all day as fans and workers have walked through downtown decked out in Penguins gear, old and new. Talk shows have been discussing the possibility of a win and what it will mean for the city.
The Penguins spent the morning insisting this was just another day in the process of chasing a title. But, the mass of humanity congregating outside the arena suggest Thursday night could be much more.
Pre-game warmups are about an hour away. We should learn of any lineup news at that time, although each team is expected to dress the same 20 players it dressed in Game 4 on Monday.