The San Jose Sharks will be playing for the Stanley Cup. With a win over the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference finals, the San Jose Sharks have advanced to the team’s first ever Stanley Cup final.
The scoring was started in Game 6 by Joe Pavelski, who had led the Stanley Cup playoffs in both goals and points, prior to Game 6, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. At 3:57 of the first period, the Sharks got on the board when Pavelski snuck a wrap-around shot between Brian Elliott’s skate and the post. San Jose’s captain has been the team’s leader through this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, and that continued in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.
Period one would end with San Jose leading by a score of 1-0. In the second stanza, Joel Ward, who scored two goals for the Sharks in Game 5, would give his team a 2-0 lead. Taking a page out of Joe Pavelski’s book, Ward redirected a shot by Brent Burns into the net.
— #StanleyCup Playoffs (@NHL) May 26, 2016
Matching his goal total from Game 5, Ward once again scored in the third period, increasing San Jose’s lead to 3-0. Teammate Joonas Donskoi would net another goal, just about five minutes later, to put the Sharks up by four.
St. Louis would attempt to stage a comeback, with two goals from their premier goal-scorer, Vladimir Tarasenko. The deficit proved insurmountable, however, and the game was sealed when Logan Couture scored an empty-netter with twenty seconds remaining to make the final score 5-2 in favor of San Jose.
With the victory over the Blues, San Jose moves on to their first Stanley Cup final since they took to the ice as an expansion team in the 1991-92 NHL season.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) May 26, 2016
Brent Burns, one of the best offensive-minded defensemen in the NHL, expressed tempered excitement at the momentous occasion for the San Jose Sharks’ franchise, as quoted by the NHL website.
“It’s great. You dream of getting the chance to play for this. It’s a great feeling. We know we’ve got one more step to take to really let loose. It’s incredible.”
As well as San Jose has played, and with their first Western Conference final victory under their belts, the team realizes that their job is not yet complete. Head coach Pete DeBoer, quoted by the NHL website, made this clear.
“It’s a great night for those guys. I also told the group that I’ve been this far once before (as coach of the Devils in 2012). As great a night as this is, if you don’t win the next round, it’s still not a great summer. I think we’ll enjoy this tonight and our focus will turn to the big prize on Friday.”
Logan Couture, who netted the final goal of the series, took the lead in playoff points during the final game of the Western Conference finals. A leader on and off the ice, Couture took note of the San Jose Sharks’ fans and the situation in general, as quoted by Mark Purdy in the Mercury News.
“I took a few quick looks around, just to see everyone standing and cheering. They’ve been through a lot. It’s been a long time that we’ve been the favorite. They’ve had a lot of high hopes… A lot of credit to the people that have had season tickets and kept them through it all. They deserve this.”
Next up for the Sharks will be the winner of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals, on Thursday evening, between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]