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Martin Jones allows Sharks to 'live another day'

PITTSBURGH – Peter DeBoer wanted his San Jose Sharks team to respond in Game 5 facing elimination. Two early goals by Brent Burns and Logan Couture coupled with an outstanding goaltending performance by Martin Jones is the reason why they’ve extended their season by at least one more game.

Jones made 44 saves to help beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2, including a stellar pad stop on Nick Bonino late in the second period that could have tied the game.

“Kind of made life a little difficult for myself a few times tonight with a couple rebounds, but just tried to get over and take away the bottom of the net,” he said.

The Penguins dominated in every facet of the game except the final score. They out-shot and out-attempted the Sharks, but with each dangerous scoring chance Jones was there.

“He’s been doing it all year, not just tonight. He does it every game for us. He’s just a stud for us,” said Joe Thornton.

A lot has been made of Penguins goaltender Matt Murray’s play in the series and his chances to take the Conn Smythe Trophy should the Penguins win a fourth game. But Jones has been just as good for the Sharks with a .938 even strength save percentage in the series and his ability to keep San Jose in games. According to the NHL, the teams had been within one goal for 218:07 of 254:53 through four games entering Game 5. 

“He was great. Made some big time saves,” said Logan Couture. “He’s been playing like this for a long time, regular season, playoffs. Lot of people unfortunately don’t get to see him, us being on the west coast. He’s been unbelievable for us.”

Jones’ teammates finally helped him out Thursday night by scoring twice in the opening 2:53 to take their first lead of the entire series. The Penguins managed to fight back, scoring twice off two deflections – one off Justin Braun’s skate and the other a seeing-eye shot by Nick Bonino that knicked Carl Hagelin.

San Jose would grab the lead back late in the first period and Jones wouldn’t be beaten again as he made 31 stops over the final 40 minutes to help the Sharks to improve to 9-0 when leading after two periods.

“The pucks that did get through, we did a good job of battling in front of the net,” Jones said. “There was a lot of scrambles around the net and we did a great job there.”

In spoiling the evening for the 18,680 fans inside Consol Energy Center and the thousands attending the two outdoor viewing parties near the arena, San Jose gets to go home now and build off an emotional win where they were able to fend off a Penguins team desperate to clinch on home ice.

One win down. Two days off until the next one on Sunday. The Sharks know there's still lots more work to be done.

“They know we’re not going to quit. They’re going to show up for Game 6 and so are we. Both teams are here for a reason,” Thornton said. “We get to live another day, so it’s a good feeling.”

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!



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