PITTSBURGH - The San Jose Sharks might have been flying home for a different reason had it not been for Martin Jones Thursday night.
Jones was perhaps the sole reason the Sharks head back to San Jose with a chance to even the Stanley Cup final. The 26-year-old made 44 saves in Game 5, keeping his team afloat in a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center.
"It's just not tonight," Sharks centre Joe Thornton said. "He does it every game for us. He was just a stud for us."
Pittsburgh outshot San Jose 46-22, but it was the Sharks that emerged behind Jones, who boasts a .933 save percentage in the final. San Jose now trails the best-of-seven series 3-2 with Game 6 on Sunday night at SAP Center.
The Sharks also got the finest effort of the final from Logan Couture, who had three points in a first period that saw the two teams trade goals in a chaotic 20 minutes. But it was Jones, the goalie San Jose traded for and signed to be its Number 1 last summer, who made the biggest difference.