The San Jose Sharks needed to win Game 5 in Pittsburgh to stay alive, and they came out flying against the Penguins. The teams combined for four goals in a Stanley Cup Final-record 5:06 to open Thursday’s game, but it was the Sharks that added two more tallies for a 4-2 win that forces Game 6 in San Jose.
Here’s who stood out to us on Thursday:
Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks
The term “instant classic” gets tossed around a bit too liberally these days, but it wouldn't be out of place describing Jones's effort in Game 5. The Sharks netminder stole this one from the Penguins, making a franchise-record 44 saves in the 4-2 victory. Seven of those came off the stick of Patric Hornqvist, who praised Jones's unconscious performance after the game.
“We had a lot of chances, and he was unbelievable,” Hornqvist said. “He made some saves I don’t think he even thought he made.”
As our own Alex Prewitt noted on Twitter, Jones joined Tim Thomas and Henrik Lundqvist as the only netminders to record 40-plus saves in a regulation Stanley Cup Final game since the 1987-88 season.
Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
Another star under pressure to deliver in a must-win game, Couture responded with a Stanley Cup Final record three-point first period to lead the Sharks to victory. He scored his first goal of the series to extend San Jose's early lead to 2-0, and paced his team with five shots on net.
And this pass on Melker Karlsson's game winner? Oh, my:
Melker Karlsson, San Jose Sharks
Top marks to coach Peter DeBoer. Recognizing the need to shake up his lines ahead of Game 5, the Sharks coach moved Karlsson up to the wing alongside Couture and Patrick Marleau. His hunch paid off, as Karlsson assisted on the icebreaker by Brent Burns, then scored the game-winner himself on a one-timer from the slot.