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Sharks force Game 6 in Stanley Cup final

PITTSBURGH — Martin Jones stopped 44 shots, Logan Couture had a goal and two assists, and the Sharks kept their season alive with a 4-2 win over the Penguins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final Thursday night.

Melker Karlsson, Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski, into an empty net, also scored for the Sharks, who cut the Penguins' series lead to 3-2 and forced Game 6 on Sunday at San Jose.

Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin scored 26 seconds apart in the first period of a game in which the Penguins outshot the Sharks 46-21.

Aside from Pavelski's goal, all the scoring came in the first period and included the teams combining to score two each in the first 5:06 to set a Cup final record for fastest four goals to start a game.

The Sharks went up 2-0 on goals by Burns and Couture 2:53 into the game. Burns' goal 1:04 in was the first time the Sharks led in the series during a game.

They squandered that lead before Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal with 5:15 left in the first. Set up in the slot by Couture's no-look pass, Karlsson snapped a shot that banked in off the bottom of goalie Matt Murray's glove.

Murray allowed the three first-period goals on five shots.

Jones' 44 saves are most in a regulation win when facing elimination in the Stanley Cup final since expansion in 1968, Elias Sports said. The Penguins' 46 shots are the most in a Cup final game since at least 1987-88 that didn't require overtime, ESPN Stats and Info said. The previous high was 41.

Up 3-2 entering the third period, the Sharks are now 9-0 this postseason when leading after two periods.

The Penguins fell to 0-5 this postseason when trailing after two.

Pittsburgh was attempting to win its fourth Cup and do it for the first time on home ice. It also was trying to become the first Pittsburgh team in the four major pro sports to clinch a title at home since the 1960 Pirates.

Jones stopped all 17 shots he faced in the second period in helping the Sharks preserve their 3-2 lead. Jones was particularly sharp during a 50-second span beginning with about five minutes left in the period.

First, he stopped Phil Kessel's shot from the left circle and then kicked out his left pad to stop Nick Bonino attempting to backhand in the rebound from the slot. Off the next faceoff, Jones got a piece of Connor Sheary's shot that was deflected in front. Finally, Jones stood his ground and got his blocker out just in time to stop Patric Hornqvist driving alone to the net and getting a shot off from his knees.

Sharks 3 0 1 4
Penguins 2 0 0 2

First Period1, San Jose, Burns 7 (Karlsson, Couture), 1:04. 2, San Jose, Couture 9 (Braun), 2:53. 3, Pittsburgh, Malkin 6 (Kessel, Letang), 4:44 (pp). 4, Pittsburgh, Hagelin 6 (Bonino), 5:06. 5, San Jose, Karlsson 5 (Couture, Dillon), 14:47. PenaltiesZubrus, SJ (delay of game), 4:21; Burns, SJ (high-sticking), 8:18.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesPittsburgh bench, served by Kessel (too many men), 5:58; Karlsson, SJ (slashing), 10:30.

Third Period6, San Jose, Pavelski 14 (Thornton), 18:40. PenaltiesHagelin, Pit (hooking), 14:04; Crosby, Pit (roughing), 19:56; Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 19:56. Shots on GoalSan Jose 7-8-7—22. Pittsburgh 15-17-14—46. Power-play opportunitiesSan Jose 0 of 2; Pittsburgh 1 of 3. GoaliesSan Jose, Jones 14-9 (46 shots-44 saves). Pittsburgh, Murray 14-6 (22-18).

Sharks force Game 6 in Stanley Cup final 06/09/16 [Last modified: Thursday, June 9, 2016 11:48pm]
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