Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Sharks get to brink of first final

ST. LOUIS — Joe Pavelski said it was going to take everybody if the Sharks were going to get the result they wanted in Game 5 of the Western Conference final against the Blues.

But when the game reached its most critical juncture Monday, everybody turned to him.

Pavelski scored the tying goal on the power play late in the second period and tipped in the eventual winner early in the third as San Jose moved within one game of its first appearance in the Stanley Cup final with a riveting 6-3 win over the Blues.

Chris Tierney scored an empty-net goal with 53.9 seconds to go as the Sharks earned the biggest win in the franchise's 25-year history. Joel Ward added an unassisted goal, his second of the game, with 33 seconds left.

Pavelski also assisted on Marc-Edouard Vlasic's goal in the first. The Sharks lead the series 3-2; Game 6 is Wednesday in San Jose.

Joe Thornton added two assists and Martin Jones had 18 saves to help push the Blues to the brink of elimination.

With the Sharks trailing 3-2, the Sharks scored their second power-play goal of the game with 1:27 to go in the second as Pavelski one-timed a pass to the front of the net by Thornton. Then 16 seconds into the third, Pavelski redirected a shot from the point by Brent Burns past Blues goalie Jake Allen for a 4-3 lead.

Ex-coach, enforcer dies: John Brophy, who coached the Maple Leafs for 2½ seasons before coaching in the ECHL for 13 seasons, died Monday after a long illness. He was 83. As a player, he was best known for his rough style. Brophy, who racked up nearly 4,000 career penalty minutes in the minor leagues from 1955-73, is believed to be the role model for Paul Newman's character Reggie Dunlop in Slap Shot. Brophy was once dubbed the "Godfather of Goonery."

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