Sharks on verge of reaching the Stanley Cup Final, plus updates on the Penguins, Lightning & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines. 



Sharks captain Joe Pavelski celebrates one of his two goals against the Blues in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski celebrates one of his two goals against the Blues in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.

CSN BAY AREA/STLTODAY.COM: Joe Pavelski scored the game-tying and winning goals to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The Sharks hold a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series and putting the club on the verge of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.

Jaden Schwartz, Troy Brouwer and Robby Fabbri scored for the Blues, who held a 3-2 lead until Pavelski’s goals in the second and third period.The Blues home record in this year’s playoffs drops to 4-6. They must now try to stave off elimination when the series shifts back to San Jose for Game 6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After going with goalie Jake Allen in the last two games, it remains to be seen if they stick with Allen for Game 7 or return to Brian Elliott. 

TRIBLIVE.COM/SPORTSNET: The Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to reveal later today if Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray will be in goal to start Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With his club facing elimination, Penguins star Evgeni Malkin guarantees his team will return to Pittsburgh for Game 7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Malkin can help his team fulfill his pledge by having his best game of the series. Thus far, he’s been quiet offensively. Same goes for captain Sidney Crosby (despite his game-winning goals in Games 3 and 4), winger Patric Hornqvist and defenseman Kris Letang, who’s lately been more notable for taking bad penalties against the Lightning.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Center Tyler Johnson is once again stepping up in the playoffs for the Lightning, as his play has helped put his club on the brink of moving on to the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In just two years, Johnson has a well-earned reputation as a hardworking postseason performer. 

STARTRIBUNE: The Minnesota Wild won’t be rehiring assistant coaches Rick Wilson and Darryl Sydor, while Andrew Brunette will rejoin the front office. Former interim head coach John Torchetti is a candidate for assistant coaching jobs in Detroit and Florida.

ESPN.COM: Jaromir Jagr has informed Czech national team coach Martin Rucinsky he won’t be joining them for the World Cup of Hockey this fall. Jagr, 44, retired from the national team last year.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist expressed disappointment over his performance this season, acknowledging he must improve next season.

BOSTON HERALD: Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg intends to return next season with the Boston Bruins. He said it would be news to him if management has different plans for him. Seidenberg has two years left on his contract, which has a full no-trade clause that runs until Dec. 31.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers fired director of hockey operations Scott Luce.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers ongoing front-office purge, which included kicking GM Dale Tallon upstairs into the role of president of hockey operations, is raising some eyebrows. The moves come after the club had one of its best seasons in franchise history, reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

CBC NEWS: John Brophy, long-time ECHL coach and former bench boss of the Toronto Maple Leafs, died on Monday at age 83.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Brophy’s family and friends.