The San Jose Sharks are hoping home ice will help them rebound in Game 5 after their fierce comeback fell short in Game 4.
With the Western Conference Finals knotted up at 2- 2 the San Jose Sharks are hoping that playing on home ice helps them take control of what is now a best of 3 series. They’ll need all the help the Tank will give them considering how much they have to overcome in their 19th contest of the postseason.
Erik Karlsson appeared to have gotten injured towards the end of Game 4 when the San Jose Sharks were pushing to tie it. EK65 was noticeably absent in the final minutes with him only getting out there for the last shift of the game.
Coach Pete DeBoer didn’t give an update surrounding Karlsson status for Game 5 on Saturday, but we should expect to see him out there even if it’s in a limited role. That means players like Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns are going to shoulder even more of the responsibilities on the blue line, which is something that isn’t completely foreign to them considering the amount of time EK65 has missed this season.
Another area of concern for the San Jose Sharks is the recent play of Jordan Binnington. Team Teal pushed hard to come back after they gave up the 2 first period goals Friday evening. From the start of the 2nd frame on the Sharks dominated in the possession metrics outpacing the Blues in scoring chances 23 – 6.
Team Teal was buzzing but were only able to convert on one of those good looks at the net. Binnington held steady ending the night with 29 saves on 30 shots, with 7 of them being considered highly dangerous, per naturalstatrick. Hopefully playing at the Tank, where they are 7 – 3 during these Stanley Cup Playoffs will generate some puck luck for Team Teal in this must win Game 5.
The early start makes predicting lineup configurations sort of difficult but here’s who will likely be on the ice for Game 5 at SAP Center.
San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier ~ Logan Couture ~ Gus Nyquist
Evander Kane ~ Tomas Hertl ~ Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson ~ Joe Thornton ~ Kevin Labanc
Marcus Sorensen ~ Barclay Goodrow ~ Joonas Donskoi
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ~ Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon ~ Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan ~ Justin Braun
Projected Starter ~ Martin Jones
Backup ~ Aaron Dell
St. Louis Blues
Jaden Schwartz ~ Brayden Schenn ~ Vlad Tarasenko
Sammy Blais ~ Ryan O’Reilly ~ David Perron
Pat Maroon~ Tyler Bozak ~ Robert Thomas
Ivan Barbashev ~ Oskar Sundqvist ~ Alexander Steen
Joel Edmundson ~ Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester ~ Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn ~ Robert Bortuzzo
Projected Starter ~ Jordan Binnington
Backup ~ Jake Allen
Now that the Western Conference Finals is a best of 3 one bad shift from any player on either team could mean not getting to play Boston for the Stanley Cup. Anticipate the energy level at the Tank to be roof shaking with the intensity in this series being cranked up to another gear in Game 5.
Puck drop for tonight’s game at the SAP Center is at 12:10 PM PT. The game will be televised nationally on NBC. The audio can be streamed on the NHL and Sharks Apps courtesy of 98.5 KFOX.