SAN JOSE used a first period scoring frenzy to claim a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh and send the Stanley Cup series back to the west coast for game six.
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Trailing 1-3 in the series and facing elimination, the Sharks got first period goals less than two minutes apart from Brent Burns and Logan Couture.
The Penguins levelled it at 2-2 before San Jose went ahead for good thanks to Melker Karlsson’s goal before turning to goaltender Martin Jones and an airtight defence to seal a ‘do-or-die’ victory.
The best-of-seven series shifts back to San Jose on Sunday, with the Sharks still facing a daunting task.
Since the Stanley Cup final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939, teams that have taken a 3-1 series lead have gone on to capture the championship 31 of 32 times.
The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs were the only National Hockey League team to battle back from a 3-1 series deficit and lift the Cup.