Pavelski, Ward carry Sharks within a win of finals
ST. LOUIS – Joe Pavelski scored his second goal of the game 16 seconds into the third period, leading the San Jose Sharks to a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night and a three-games-to-two lead in the Western Conference finals.
The Sharks can advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in franchise history with a win Wednesday night at home in Game 6.
A decisive Game 7, if necessary, would be playing in St. Louis on Friday.
Pavelski redirected a shot by Brent Burns past goalie Jake Allen to break a 3-3 tie. It was his 12th goal in 17 games in the playoffs, the most in the NHL this season. The Sharks added two empty-net goals in the final minute, from Chris Tierney and Joel Ward, his second goal of the game.
The win improved the Sharks’ record to 5-1 this year in games following a playoff loss. Six of Pavelski’s goals have come in those six games.
San Jose goalie Martin Jones made 18 saves for the win. St. Louis goaltender Jake Allen stopped 21 of the 25 shots he faced.
The Sharks scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period to twice come back from one-goal deficits and tie the game, both goals coming with Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in the penalty box.
Ward scored with one second left in a roughing penalty to Shattenkirk at 4:37 to tie the game at 2. Later in the period, after Shattenkirk was called for hooking, Pavelski scored to pull the Sharks into a 3-3 tie at 18:33.
The Blues used a power-play goal of their own, from Robby Fabbri at 11:58 of the middle period, to take a 3-2 lead. It was Fabbri’s fourth goal and team-high 15th point of the playoffs, the most by a Blues rookie since Joe Mullen scored 18 points in the 1982 playoffs.
After the Sharks scored the game’s first goal, from Marc-Edouard Vlasic 3:51 into the game, the Blues responded with goals from Jaden Schwartz, his first in 14 games, at 7:04 and from Troy Brouwer, his team-leading eighth of the playoffs, at 15:08 to take a 2-1 lead.
Brouwer’s eight goals have come in 19 games, after the veteran forward came into this year’s playoffs with seven career goals in 78 games.
NOTES: Both RW David Backes and LW Robby Fabbri were in the Blues’ lineup for game 5 despite having left game 4 because of injuries. Backes suffered an upper-body injury and did not play after the first period, while Fabbri had a lower-body injury caused by a first-period hit and played sparingly after that. Both were cleared to play after the pregame warmup. … The Blues scratched LW Scottie Upshall (upper body injury) for the third consecutive game. … The Sharks did not make any lineup changes from game 4. … Monday night’s game was the latest calendar date for a game in Blues’ history. The previous latest game had been on May 21, 2001, the fifth and final game of the 2001 Western Conference final loss to Colorado.