Pavelski scores twice, Sharks top Blues to take 3-2 lead

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the first period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals against the St. Louis Blues, Monday, May 23, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Joe Pavelski scored two goals, including the go-ahead score in the opening minute of the third period, and the San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference final on Monday night.

Joel Ward also scored twice including one of two empty-netters in the final minute for San Jose, which can close it out at home on Wednesday night. The Sharks have never reached the Stanley Cup Final. Joe Thornton had three assists for the Sharks.

Pavelski leads the playoffs with 12 goals and has three two-goal games, one in each series. The Sharks’ captain added an assist and is tied with teammate Logan Couture for the postseason points lead, each with a franchise-record 21 points.

Rookie Robby Fabbri scored and David Backes had an assist for St. Louis. Both were questionable coming off injuries in Game 4.

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