The Sharks were 61 seconds away from a two-games-to-one hole in the Western Conference final.
But with 1:01 remaining in regulation of Game 3 against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, Sharks center Logan Couture scored to force overtime at Enterprise Center. With San Jose goaltender Martin Jones pulled, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski redirected a shot at Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Couture was there to bury the rebound.
The goal, Couture's 14th of the postseason, tied Joe Pavelski's franchise record for a single Stanley Cup playoffs. It was also Couture's fifth of the Western Conference final, and he became the 13th player in Sharks history to score five goals in a single playoff round. Pavelski, meanwhile, picked up his 100th career postseason point with the primary helper.
Couture had been largely blanketed by Blues defenseman Colton Parayko through the first two periods, and he entered the third with no shots on goal or shot attempts. The goal was Couture's fourth shot on frame of the period, and his fifth attempt.
San Jose led by two goals in two separate instances, only to allow four goals in the second stanza. But thanks to Couture's goal, the Sharks had a chance to take the series lead themselves in overtime. They did 5:32 in to the extra session, thanks to Erik Karlsson's controversial second goal of the night.
Sunday's Game 5 against the Blues went from bad to worse for the Sharks.
After falling behind 3-0 through two periods in their Western Conference final tilt at SAP Center, Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson was not on the bench to begin the third period. The star blueliner missed the majority of the third period in Game 4, but he was in the lineup for Game 5 despite being noticeably affected by his injury.
The third period went from bad to worse as Joe Pavelski took a hit from Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo along the boards. He left the ice and went straight to the dressing room.
Shortly after Pavelski left the ice, the Blues lit the lamp again to make it 4-0.
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San Jose later lost forward Joonas Donskoi after he took a puck to the side of the head.
The Sharks will have to regroup for what will be a do-or-die Game 6 in St. Louis.
SAN JOSE – Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer told the press on Sunday morning there would be some “game-time decisions” regarding San Jose’s lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference final against the St. Louis Blues. But the lineup change probably wasn't what many viewers were anticipating.
Forward Marcus Sorensen was scratched from the lineup and did not participate in pregame warmups. Sorensen penciled into the lineup for Game 4 after being scratched for Micheal Haley in the previous contest.
Sorensen has five points (0 goals, five assists) through 17 games played during these playoffs.
There was initially speculation ahead of Game 5 that Sorensen’s fellow countryman Erik Karlsson was questionable to be in the lineup for Game 5. Karlsson stayed on the bench for the majority of the third period in Game 4, raising questions as to whether he would be healthy enough to play in Sunday’s game.
DeBoer penciled Karlsson in to start alongside usual blueline partner Brenden Dillon.