San Jose Sharks Stanley Cup Final Drought May End Soon

The San Jose Sharks have had a Stanley Cup final drought for 23 seasons now. That is since the inception of the franchise in the 1991-92 NHL season. That Stanley Cup final drought may soon come to an end for the long-waiting San Jose Sharks and their fans.

On Monday night, San Jose defeated the Saint Louis Blues by a score of 6-3 in Game 5 of the NHL Western Conference finals. The Sharks now hold a one-game lead on the Blues in the series, 3-2. If San Jose can win one of the next two games, they will make the franchise's first-ever visit to the Stanley Cup final.

As reported by Steve Greenberg for the New York Times, the Sharks have now won a single postseason franchise record 11 games in this year's playoffs. San Jose is looking to win their first-ever conference finals, having lost the previous three in which the team appeared.

In Game 5, Marc-Edouard Vlasic got the scoring started for the Sharks with a shot from just inside San Jose's offensive zone, putting the Sharks up 1-0, less than four minutes after the game started. St. Louis wasn't deterred, however, as the Blues got onto the board at 7:04 of the first period, according to the NHL website. Jaden Schwartz scored his fourth goal of the playoffs, lifting a rebound top-shelf to tie it up at 1-1.

Troy Brouwer would give St. Louis the lead, 2-1, when he batted a puck out of mid-air past San Jose's goaltender, Martin Jones, at 15:08 of the first period.

The second period would see San Jose score two goals to St. Louis' one, tying the game at three apiece. Joel Ward knocked another puck out of the air on a rebound to beat Jake Allen, knotting the game at two early in the second. Robby Fabbri, who was injured the previous game, then put his team back up by one when he scored a power-play goal at 11:58.

Near the conclusion of the second period, Joe Pavelski tied the game for San Jose with a one-timer from the slot that beat Allen glove-side. Pavelski would also score the game-winner for the Sharks in the third period. Just 16 seconds into the final period, Pavelski deflected a puck into the net for his second goal of the game and 4-3 San Jose lead.

The Sharks would extend their lead to two goals at 19:06 of the third when Chris Tierney stuffed home an open-net goal. The game was ultimately sealed when Joel Ward scored his second goal of the game at 19:27 of the period with a shot from center-ice that found the back of the empty net.

San Jose will have their eyes on the Stanley Cup final as the team heads home for Game 6 of the Western Conference finals. The Blues are also hoping to reach the Stanley Cup final, which would be their first since 1970, according to FOX Sports. They now have to win twice as many games as the Sharks to achieve that goal, however. First, they'd need to win on the road in San Jose, which will be no easy task, before heading home.

In his first year as head coach of the Sharks, Pete DeBoer has his team hitting on all cylinders. DeBoer, the former coach of the New Jersey Devils, took that team to the Stanley Cup final against the Los Angeles Kings in 2012. Now, just four seasons later, DeBoer is hoping to take the San Jose Sharks for the same ride, with a different outcome, as New Jersey was ousted by Los Angeles in DeBoer's previous trip to the Stanley Cup final.

[Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]