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Sharks on brink of Stanley Cup Final after Game 5 win over Blues

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
ST. LOUIS – The San Jose Sharks said they didn’t care about the adjustments of the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Final. They simply wanted to win their way regardless of how the Blues played their matchups.  

San Jose did this in Game 5 with a strong power play and a big outing by captain Joe Pavelski in a 6-3 win.

The Sharks are now up 3-2 in this series and have a chance to clinch their first Stanley Cup Final berth at home on Wednesday.

Pavelski provided the go-ahead goal via a tip-in just 16 seconds into the third period off a shot from Brent Burns to put San Jose up 4-3.

The Sharks went on the power play near the end of the second period and made the Blues pay. Joe Thornton found Pavelski in front for a beautiful one-timer goal to tie the game at 3-3 with 1:27 left in the frame. 

Before that the goal Blues carried most of the play in the period.

An undisciplined roughing penalty by Sharks defenseman Roman Polak helped give the Blues a second period edge.

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St. Louis rookie Robby Fabbri blasted a one-timer past goaltender Martin Jones on the ensuing power play at the 11:58 mark of the second period to put St. Louis up 3-2.

Joel Ward put home a rebound while the Sharks were on a power play goal to tie the game at two with 15:23 left in the second period. It was Vlasic’s second point of the night.

Troy Brouwer continued his big postseason run with a gorgeous goal in the first period. Blues forward Paul Stastny drove into the Sharks’ zone and fired a shot on Jones who made the initial save.

On the rebound left by Jones, the puck seemed to knuckle in mid-air before Brouwer caught it flush and fired it past Jones.

The goal came at the 15:08 mark of the first period and put St. Louis up 2-1.

The Sharks scored first on a shot by Vlasic with 16:09 left in the first that beat goaltender Jake Allen high. Then forward Jaden Schwartz knotted the game a 1-1 with 13:03 left in the frame.

The gameplay was much quicker than past contests when one team generally held a decided advantage. The physicality was ramped up with both teams playing desperate hockey.

Now comes Game 6 on Wednesday in San Jose and now will come the questions for Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock about whether he'll go back to Brian Elliott with the season on the line.

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