The Wraparound: Can Grubauer shut down Sharks again?

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The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down each day’s matchups with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

After Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer produced an absolutely sensational Round 1 against the Flames, it seemed like the Sharks might have solved him — at least enough.

San Jose managed a 2-1 series lead through the first three games against Colorado, scoring 10 goals combined against Grubauer. For some context, consider that Grubauer only allowed nine goals total as the Avalanche stunned the Flames in five games.

It seemed like the Sharks solved Grubauer … until Game 4. Grubauer was sturdy, and the Avalanche used their speed and fresh legs to slow San Jose down enough for Colorado to win that contest 3-0, tying the series 2-2 heading into Game 5 on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN; stream here).

That Game 4 win echoes the Avalanche’s stretch to earn a bid in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. While Nathan MacKinnon grabs the headlines, Grubauer makes those crucial saves that brings it all together.

“He’s making everything look easy,” Avs defenseman Erik Johnson said, via the Denver Post’s Kyle Frederickson. “When you have a goalie that’s doing that, I think it just trickles down your lineup. I can’t say enough good things about him and how well he’s played. … We believe in him.”

The Sharks believe that they need to make things tougher for Grubauer in Game 5, which seems fair, since he’s clearly making it tougher for San Jose to score goals.

 [NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Game 5: Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins (Series tied 2-2) After struggling through the first three games of this series, Boston’s first line came alive in Game 4, and Tuukka Rask made enough big saves to earn the win. The scene switches back to Boston for Game 5 after we’ve seen both Rask and Sergei Bobrovsky befuddle opponents with big saves, and Artemi Panarin show that Columbus’ top line can make noise, too. It’s tough to forecast which team will win, but you can bet on some nastiness. 7:15 p.m. ET on NBC (stream here)

FRIDAY’S SCORES
Hurricanes 5, Islanders 2 (Carolina wins series 4-0)
Stars 2, Blues 1 (Dallas leads series 3-2)
The Buzzer has more on Friday’s action.

PHT’s Round 2 previews
• Round 2 schedule, TV info
• Questions for the final eight teams
• PHT Roundtable
• Blue Jackets vs. Bruins
• Blues vs. Stars
• Avalanche vs. Sharks

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.