Sunday, June 12, 2016

Meant to be

By: MF,

We are back in California for Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final where the Pittsburgh Penguins hold a 3-2 series lead over the Sharks. The Penguins had a chance to close out the series and raise the Stanley Cup in Game Five in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1960 when the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series. However, the Sharks captured a 4-2 win and forced a Game Six.

Here we are once again. The Penguins have another chance to finish things and raise the silver chalice. The Penguins came out looking shaky in Game Five and that allowed the Sharks to score twice in the first 2:53 of the game. They did settle down and tie things up, but the Sharks took the lead back and lead 3-2. After that, both Matt Murray and Martin Jones shut the door.

The storyline for Game Five was “The Jones Show,” as the young netminder had a career game with 44 saves in the net. The Penguins charged and pressured for the rest of the game, except in the beginning, but Jones was both lucky and skilled. They will need to keep with the course and game plan, they will eventually get pucks behind Jones.

Even with Jones’ performance throughout the series, the HBK line has bee on fire. Carl Hagelin has points (one goal and three assists) in four of the five Cup Final games. While Nick Bonino (one goal and two assists) and Phil Kessel (one goal and three assists) have points in three of the five games this series. The trio accounts for 28.2% (18) of the team’s 64 high-danger scoring chances this series. Also, Evgeni Malkin tallied two power play goals in his last two games played and has three points (two goals and one assist) in his last two games played.

On defense, Kris Letang leads the team with four assists in the Stanley Cup Final, so far. As for the goalie, Murray is 5-0 with .935 save percentage and 1.75 goals against average following a losing effort. Look for both to step up in this contest, especially Murray who was shaking in the beginning of Game Five. He will want to jump back in a huge way for the Penguins.

As a whole, the Penguins numbers at even-strength over the Sharks throughout this series have been unreal. The Penguins have 292 shot attempts to the Sharks 236. Also, have 64 high-danger scoring chances to the Sharks 38. Their 160 shots also trump the Sharks 99. The Penguins have not had trouble generating chances and shots, but Jones has been the MVP for the Sharks to aid them in forcing a Game Six. The Penguins still have good things to take away from Game Five where they tallied 46 shots, which was their most ever in a Cup Final game. They are also 6-1 following a loss this postseason.

This is the big one and the Penguins are not likely to allow this chance slip through their fingers again. They just need to stay focused and play their game. Jones will likely come out with some big saves and the Penguins will just have to stick with things. With continued pressure, they will put pucks into the net. They have done a great job of staying focused, not letting the Sharks get to them, and using their speed. This is the Penguins time and time to raise the Silver Chalice once again. If you don’t believe yet….seven years ago today, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup (6/12/2009). It’s meant to be. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:



Murray in the net!  

Play by Play
PENS 3 Sharks 1

3rd Period

0:09 - Fehr to the box. Sharks to power play.


1:40 - Sharks have an empty net!

2:55 - The Pens are even closer....

4:12 - Karlsson just fires a wrister wide of the net.

5:38 - Jones just robbed Kessel. Wow, what a save. The crowd is getting loud.

6:58 - Pens miss a huge opportunity to extend their lead. Burns is set free. Things still within reach for the Sharks.

8:58 - Burns with an obvious slashing on Kessel who would of had a breakaway. Pens will head into the power play.

10:00 - Lovejoy with a huge play to clear the puck out of the blue paint. He saved a goal there.

11:34 - Successful penalty kill for the Pens. Now time to strike back.

13:34 - Sharks will now get a power play chance as Sheary will head to the box for hooking. Huge penalty kill for the Pens.

14:43 - Now the Sharks get some offensive zone time.

17:01 - Crosby's line with some great offensive pressure. Sheary and Crsoby with some good stick work. Sharks getting tired.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens have to stick to their game, keep pressuring, and stay focused! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period horn sounds and Pens still hold the lead 2-1 over the Sharks!

1:32 - Crosby has a chance, but his shot is blocked. Nice work by the first line of the Pens.

3:05 - Replay of the Kunitz and Malkin chance. Malkin made a perfect pass to Kunitz and he had a wide open net. Kunitz didn't even look up just went straight for the pass.

4:48 - Malkin and Kunitz get a two-on-one chance. Jones makes the first dive save, Malkin tries to sneak in the loose puck, but it stays out. Wide open net chances. Unreal how the puck stayed out.

5:12 - Pens have been flirting with danger as they have been play more of a defensive game.

6:58 - Murray with another save in front and the puck is loose. Pens finally able to clear.

8:01 - Murray with a huge save and Jones counters with his own pad save on a shot by Kessel.

9:57 - The Pens keep up the pressure and Malkin's line goes to work.

12:14 - LETANG SCORES! Hornqvist battles at the side of the net, but Crosby comes in to pick up the loose puck! Letang jumps up and Crosby outlets from behind to Letang! He puts a shot off the blocker of Jones and between the legs! 2-1 Pens

13:33 - Couture scores. Burns passes off to a flying Couture who fires one that goes five-hole on Murray. 1-1 tie game

16:47 - Sharks pinned and tire out the Pens in their own zone. Murray coming up big as the Sharks have all the momentum right now.

17:59 - Jones makes his own unreal save. Goalie battle right now.

18:35 - Couture tries a wrap around, but Murray gets his toe there first. Then he makes a huge save on a shot by Polak.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens have to keep pressuring, get traffic in front, and play smart! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period ends and the Pens have the 1-0 lead over the Sharks!

3:13 - Jones with some unreal saves. He is locked in.

3:28 - Jones robs Crosby at the side of the net!

4:22 - Malkin gets to the puck behind the net and outlets a beautiful pass to Kunitz in front. Kunitz whiffs on the shot.

5:09 - Karlsson is back on the bench for the Sharks.

5:52 - Sharks buzzing in the Pens zone. Shots being blocked, fired wide, and saved by Murray. The crowd is going nuts. Sharks with momentum.

7:23 - Cole falls down and that gives Ward a one-on-one chance, but Kunitz skates back to make a diving play to whack the puck off of Ward's stick!

9:49 - Sharks have the Pens pinned in the defensive zone. The Pens come up with some solid blocks.

11:23 - Maatta and Karlsson go crashing into the boards. Karlsson does a split while falling into the boards. He stays down to wait for athletic trainer. He heads to the locker room.

11:44 - DUMOULIN SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Sheary finds Dumoulin at the point! He fakes a shot and then rips one through traffic past Jones! 1-0 Pens

12:11 - The first power play of the game will go to the Pens as Zubrus sits for tripping.

13:20 - Nieto gets a rush down the wing with a Shark being tracked down by Maatta. He holds and fires. Murray fights it off and Bonino takes the rebound away.

14:31 - Sharks have a rush going to the net, but things are broken up after a pass is redirected by a skate.

16:16 - Both teams are buzzing to start this one. Referees are letting a lot go right now. Not much room out there.

17:57 - Both Crosby and Malkin's line get some forechecking going behind the Sharks net. The Sharks coming out with a physical start as they layout some big hits.

20:00 - It's ON! The Pens have another chance to close things up and raise that Silver Chalice! They need to stay focused, keep with things, and pressure throughout! Lets Go Pens! 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Raise the Cup

By: MF,

Tonight could be the night the Pittsburgh Penguins raise the Stanley Cup over their heads in front of the home crowd in Pittsburgh. It would become the first time the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup at home. The Penguins hold a 3-1 series lead over the San Jose Sharks and have the chance to end this Stanley Cup Final.

There haven't been any changes only talk about home the Penguins have come this far. Since Head Coach Mike Sullivan was hired things have been on the up and up. Sullivan states that it has to do with the players investing and trusting the system. The fans have also seen that system and invested in it. Pittsburgh Nation has watched as the Penguins have evolved and grown over the last few months. They went from not even being able to make the playoffs to the Stanley Cup Final. The Sharks were the top pick by experts and those at NBC, but Pittsburgh has shown them why not to underestimate them. They will have to stay focused and continue to bring up the level of the game.

The Penguins have nine postseason wins this year, which ties them with the team record set in 1991, 2008, and 2009. They have also set a new Penguin record for most home games in a postseason at 13. Going into this game, the Penguins all-time record in the Stanley Cup Final is 10-3 and they have won five-straight home games in the Final.

The Sharks will be a desperate team, however, the Penguins have weathered suck storms before, they only need to do it once more. Lets Go Pens! 

The Pens lineup is as follows:



Murray in the net!

Play by Play
Pens 2 Sharks 4

3rd Period
0:00 - The Pens fall to the Sharks 4-2 in Game Five. The Pens still hold the series lead 3-2. The Pens dominated the second and third period, but Jones was the difference maker. Things look good as the Pens head back to San Jose for Game Six.

1:20 - Pavelski scores an empty netter. Thornton enters the zone and passes over to Pavelski who puts it in. 4-2 Sharks

1:30 - Pens with empty net.

2:01 - Jones has been solid and lucky. The combination has kept the Pens from scoring.

3:34 - Rust's backhander goes off the mask of Jones and the rebound sits in the blue paint. Hagelin gets two whacks at it, but Jones comes up with the save.

3:56 - Solid penalty kill effort by the Pens and Hagelin is set free.

5:56 - Sharks are headed onto the power play as Hagelin takes a hooking penalty. Huge penalty kill.

7:31 - Crosby gets speed down the win and rifles one that Jones stirs away to the corner.

8:47 - The Sharks have iced the puck three times now. The Pens have dominated as shots are 40-20 Pens. Jones has been a fort for Sharks.

12:32 - Murray gets a piece of a shot by Marleau and then covers. Huge save.

14:14 - Jones robs Sheary! Shots are 37-17 in favor of the Pens. Jones only one that still stands in the way of the Pens tying things up.

15:16 - Malkin is having a great game. Definitely one of his best. He wants another one bad.

17:21 - Been a slightly even start for both teams. Pens have the shot advantage and dominated the second period. They can do this.

20:00 - Time for the third period! The Pens need to keep up the pressure and play their game! For the Stanley Cup! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period ends and the Sharks still have the 3-2 lead over the #Pens. Jones the only reason Sharks do.

1:01 - The Pens have dominated on the shot clock. Jones the only reason Sharks still have the lead.

3:47 - Hornqvist gets in and is right in front of the net, but Jones responds with a save.

4:52 - Bonino fires in a backhand shot right in front. Jones robs him with a sliding pad save. Jones keeping the Pens at bay for now.

5:06 - Maatta jumps into a rush with Makin's line. He snaps one on net that is stopped, but the loose puck is bouncing around the blue paint. Everyone crashes in, but somehow Jones ends up with it in his glove.

7:29 - The Sharks kill off the Pens power play and are made whole again.

9:29 - Another power play opportunity coming to the Pens as Karlsson is nabbed for slashing. Golden chance for the Pens to tie things up.

11:08 - Crosby makes a no look, back pass to Sheary. He rips one on net, but Jones with the save. Pens need to get traffic on front and create second chances to get one past Jones.

12:02 - Successful penalty kill by the Pens. Penalty kill once again comes up big.

14:02 - Murray with a solid save on a shot from Ward. Pens are caught with too many men on the ice. Sharks get a power play chance.

15:57 -  A lot more energy coming from the Pens in this period. Polak lays a hit on Dumoulin from behind that puts him into the boards. No call and things resume.

17:01 - Hornqvist holds and drags the puck back before snapping a shot on net. Jones makes the save and holds.

19:12 - Solid start by the Pens first line. They get the forecheck and cycling going in the offensive zone. Jones covers for a whistle.

20:00 - Second period time! The Pens need to come out more focused and pressure the Sharks often! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period ends and the Sharks have the 3-2 lead over the Pens.

1:35 - HBK line gets a rush going and Kessel passes over to Bonino who is robbed by Jones.

3:39 - Murray has had a rough first period. He better snap out of this funk soon.

5:13 - Karlsson scores. Couture with a back pass to Karlsson one in the slot area. He snaps one past the glove of Murray. 3-2 Sharks

5:32 - Jones robs Fehr. Jones keeping Sharks in this one.

7:02 - Some mishandling of the puck by the Pens that give the Sharks some chances. However, the Pens lay their bodies on the line to block those chances. None made it the net.

9:42 - Burns is set free and the Pens power play ends. Both Kunitz and Kessel rang shots off the post. Nice looks for the Pens.

11:42 - Another power play chance for the Pens as Burns sits for high-sticking.

12:00 - The crowd is going nuts as the Pens are bringing it right now. Jones with two big saves to keep things tied for the Sharks.

14:54 - HAGELIN SCORES! Bonino rips a hard shot on net that goes off the Hagelin, who is right in front of Jones, into the net! Pens have tied things at two a piece!

15:15 - MALKIN SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Malkin tries to pass over the puck to Crosby with a shot/pass! It goes off the shin of a Shark player past Jones! 2-1 Sharks 

15:38 - Zubrus is called for delay of game and the Pens head onto the power play.

16:01 - Not a good start for the Pens. Maybe all the excitement got to them.

17:07 - Couture scores. Sharks get a good cycle going below the goal line and get it back to the point. Couture camps in front and redirects the point shot past Murray. 2-0 Sharks

18:56 - Burns scores. Burns goes in behind the night to fish out the puck and comes out in front. He turns and rips one blocker side past Murray. 1-0 Sharks

20:00 - The puck has dropped at Consol and the Cup is in the house! The Pens need to stay focused and take advantage of home ice! Time to raise it at home! Lets Go Pens! 

No better feeling...other then winning it all

By: MF,

The Stanley Cup Final is every hockey fan’s dream. Having their team make it, having a chance to work a final series, or attending a game is on every fan’s bucket list.

I have had the honor of working a Stanley Cup Final. It was an amazing experience and I can now check that off my bucket list. I could not calm down the entire time. After years of watching hockey, school, and dreaming of working for a National Hockey League team, I was working a Cup Final. It was surreal and I took in every moment. I not only was able to watch a great Stanley Cup Final, I met and saw hockey legends. As I stood to watch the opening ceremony and game presentation, I had goose bumps forming on my arms. The music boomed and the fans went wild as a chill ran throughout my body. This one a once in a lifetime chance and I was lucky enough to be a part of it. It was a feeling that I will never forget. Could life get any better?

The answer to that would be “yes.” How is that possible? It happened this year when the Pittsburgh Penguins made it to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. The team that I have cheered for so many years, the team that made me fall in love with hockey, the team that brought out a passion that I never knew I had, and a team that changed my life. That makes this Stanley Cup Final even more special. Why is it different than in 2008 or 2009? Well, my passion for hockey has grown, my understanding of hockey has matured, and I have been able to work a Final Series. That gives you a whole new appreciation for this moment. Every hockey fan can relate to this when their team makes it.

So Pittsburgh nation enjoy the moment, take it all in, embrace everything, and don’t sweat the small stuff, because we made it. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Back into the Shark Tank

By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back at it in San Jose as they take on the Sharks in Game Four. The Penguins dropped Game Three in overtime, but still hold a series lead 2-1 over the Sharks.

It’s no secret that the ice conditions have been less than desirable, however, it can be expected when hockey is still being played in June. This doesn’t excuse their loss in Game Three. Head Coach Mike Sullivan stated that the Penguins need to simplify their game if they want to get a win tonight. The Penguins need to no look for the extra pass and put the puck on net every chance they get. They missed some good opportunities that would have given them the win.

On defense, the Penguins need to play smart and help Matt Murray out. After a loss, Murray has a 4-0 record, 1.94 goals against average, .930 save percentage, and has stopped 106 of 114 shots. Look for him to bounce right back in this game. Two guys that have stepped up on defense, since losing Trevor Daley are Ben Lovejoy and Olli Maatta.

Now let’s get into the numbers, the Penguins are 4-1 following a loss this year in the postseason. Nick Bonino leads the Penguins with 14 blocked shots in the Cup Final. This spring, the team has scored eight goals in the final minute of the period. The Penguins have to come out with speed, get to the basics, and get shots on net. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:



Murray in the net!

Play by Play
PENS 3 Sharks 1

3rd Period

1:39 - Sharks have an empty net.

2:02 - FEHR SCORES! The Pens battle at the blue line to force the puck and put it up to Hagelin! He finds Fehr flying down center all alone! Fehr fires one past the blocker of Jones! 3-1 Pens

2:17 - Cullen and Crosby get a rush. Cullen holds to pull it around a sliding Shark, but Jones shallows it up.

2:52 - Sharks get offensive zone pressure going and Hagelin ends up icing the puck.

5:20 - One can expect the Sharks to pressure even more with the clock becoming their enemy. The Pens cannot allow them to have anymore chances.

6:32 - Pens making sure to keep to their quick changes and keeping fresh players on the ice as time whines down.

8:06 - Sharks with attack mode engaged and the Pens are just defending. They need to get into attacking or things will end up being tied.

11:53 - Karlsson scores! A shot from the blue line is blocked and bounces to the slot area. Karlsson is there to pick it up and blow a shot past Murray. 2-1 Pens

14:05 - Sharks with offensive push and Murray comes up big. Crosby with great work down low to get the puck out and goes up ice.

15:01 - Murray commits highway robbery with his glove as Marleau gets in all alone. Murray has none of that and Lovejoy clears the rebound.

16:21 - Schultz rifles one that bounces off the back boards to the front of the net. Kunitz and Rust get whacks in, but Jones with the saves.

18:20 - Sharks crash the net as the puck bounces in front. Murray with the save and the Pens clear.

20:00 - The third period is underway! The Pens need to come out ready to fight a desperate Sharks team and make sure to pressure them into making mistakes! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period ends and the Pens extend their lead to 2-0 over the Sharks!

0:27 - Solid penalty kill for the Pens. They took all the fire out of that power play. Unreal effort.

2:27 - Now Rust with sit for hooking and the Sharks power play comes onto the ice.

3:45 - Have to give it to the blue line for holding down the fort, along with Murray to keep the Sharks at bay.

4:27 - Sharks are bringing as they look to get one before the period ends. They are hungry for one right now.

5:48 - Sharks ring a shot off the crossbar.

6:52 - Letang with a huge block on a point blank shot. Great defensive work by Letang.

8:12 - Maatta with a fast and clean zone exit. The Pens defense doing a great job of that tonight.

11:05 - Fourth line for the Pens goes to work to retrieve the puck behind Jones' net. Solid effort.

13:24 - Malkin has been flying during this game and getting rewarded for his effort.

15:20 - Ice surface seems to be better. Not many bouncing pucks like in Game 3.

17:20 - MALKIN SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Crosby wins the faceoff back to Letang! Letang passes back and forth with Kessel at the half boards! Kessel goes in and makes a shot/pass to Malkin at the side of the net! Malkin directs the puck behind Jones! 2-0 Pens

17:32 - Another power play chance for the Pens as Karlsson is found guilty of hooking.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens need to come out with shooters mentality and pressure! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - Second period horn sounds and the Pens have the 1-0 lead over the Sharks!

1:03 - Sharks ice the puck.

1:17 - Maatta is also doing well with Lovejoy. Those two stepping up their game.

3:00 - Letang was awesome on that kill. Great blocks and clears with no trouble.

3:15 - Successful penalty kill for the Pens and Lovejoy is set free.

5:15 - Lovejoy takes a trip to the box for holding the stick (of a Shark) and the Pens have a huge penalty kill ahead of them.

5:58 - Murray jumps out to make a save on Burn's rebound shot in front.

6:22 - Pens power play comes to an end. They were buzzing on that chance and had a shooters mentality. Malkin almost made it 2-0, he is flying.

8:22 - Power play opportunity for the Pens as Vlasic will take a seat for interference.

8:37 - The first line for the Pens gets three chances on net. Defense also jumping up into plays.

9:12 - Cole's goal was his first career playoff goal.

11:25 - Pavelski puts a shot on net and Murray gloves it up with traffic in front. Solid glove save.

12:24 - COLE SCORES! Malkin finds Kessel breaking up the ice! Kessel crosses to the right wing and draws four Sharks! Kessel shoots and Jones kicks it out right to an open Cole! Cole snaps it past the blocker of Jones! 1-0 Pens

13:13 - Dumoulin fires a hard wrister that rings off the crossbar! Jones with some aggressive goaltending.

16:05 - Thronton leads a 2-on-1 chance and fires a shot off. Murray kicks the puck to the corner.

18:09 - Fast start for both teams. A lot of back and forth play.

20:00 - Puck drop for Game 4! The Pens need to limit the passes and put more shots on net! Lets Go Pens! 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Taking a swim in the Shark Tank

By: MF,

The Stanley Cup Final has shifted to the SAP Center (known as the Shark Tank) in San Jose. Now the Sun Jose Sharks will have the advantage of home-ice over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins hold a 2-0 series lead in this best of seven series. They used the home ice start to their advantage to take the series lead.

With the time zone change, the game will be at 5 p.m. in San Jose (8 p.m. here). That means the Penguins decided to not hold a morning skate. Head Coach Mike Sullivan and a few players did come to the rink to address the media.

When playing at home, the Sharks strategy is to come out and knock out the opposing team in the first half of the opening period. They have a loud and energized crowded to back them up. This will become even more intense as they desperately need a win to get back in this one. The Penguins should be ready to counter their attack and make sure to take advantage of opportunities.

The Penguins offense have been on fire and using their speed to pin the Sharks in their own zone. Some shining players have been the young blood brought up from Wilkes-Barre Scranton. Connor Sheary is one of those guys and scored the overtime winning goal during Game Two. He became the first rookie to score a Stanley Cup Final overtime goal, since May 18, 1986, that was scored by Brian Skrudland (Montreal Canadiens). Sheary has four points in his last five games played.

On defense, Kris Letang has been leading the way. His play has been exceptional and was especially fantastic in Game Two. He has assisted on both game-winning goals during the series, so far. In net, Matt Murray has a .937 save-percentage and a 1.48 goals-against average during his four-game win streak. He has been solid and focused in the net for the Penguins. Tonight, he might get this biggest challenge of the playoffs.

The overtime Game Two win was the first Stanley Cup Final overtime win at home for the Penguins in franchise history. They have also set two other franchise records:
  • 1.       Most overtime winners in a playoff run at four.
  • 2.       Most overtime games in a playoff run at six.

The Penguins now have nine home playoff wins equal to the franchise best records set during the 1991,2008, and 2009 playoff seasons. Their five road playoffs win put them second in the NHL, only one behind the St. Louis Blues (six). 

The Pens lineup is as follows:



Murray in the net! 

Play by Play
Pens 2 Sharks 3 OT

0:00 - The Sharks get the 3-2 OT win over the Pens. The Pens had their troubles during this game, but fought through it. The Sharks ended up winning this game, but the Pens hold a 2-1 series lead. Onto the next game.

7:43 - Donskoi scores. Murray is down and Donskoi puts it up high. 3-2 Sharks

10:07 - Another scramble in front of Jones...somehow the puck stays out of the net.

12:01 - Malkin had a chance to end things, but misses the open net!

13:02 - Sharks with a 2-on-1 chance. Thornton is robbed by Murray!

14:44 - The Pens have had some chances on net. Good cycling by them.

15:54 - Hagelin's point shot is tipped in front, but Jones is able to make the save.

18:21 - Fehr goes to the bench and is in pain. Trainer talking to him.

20:00 - The overtime period is underway! The Pens have to use their speed, play smart hockey, and put shots on net! Time to put an end to this game! Lets Go Pens!

3rd Period
0:00 - We are headed to overtime again as this game is still tied at 2-2.

0:35 - Shot blocking clinic is the nickname for this game.

2:01 - Things are heating up.

3:30 - Kessel fires a shot coming down the wing, but Jones scoops up the puck easily.

4:48 - Sharks ice the puck, so the Pens put Crosby and Malkin on the ice for the faceoff.

6:03 - The last two minutes have been up and down the ice with neither team getting a chance on net.

8:15 - Cole slaps one from the point that is gloved up by Jones. You can feel the momentum of the Sharks. The Pens must push back.

11:11 - Ward scores. The Sharks have a 3-on-2 chance as their power play ends. Ward fires a slapper from long range. It sneaks in between the body and glove arm of Murray. 2-2 tie game

11:12 - Sharks power play expires.

12:28 - Sharks use their timeout.

13:12 - The Pens have killed the first half of the double minor penalty.

15:12 - A huge penalty kill for the Pens right now. Bonino is called for high sticking and draws blood, so Sharks get a four-minute power play.

16:45 - The fourth line goes to work again. Jones makes a kick save to stop a quick spin shot by Cullen.

20:00 - Third period time! The Pens need to come out with energy and pepper the net with shots! Finish this! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - The horn sounds to end the second period and the Pens have the 2-1 lead over the Sharks!

0:49 - HORNQVIST SCORES! Maatta passes over the Lovejoy! He fires from the point and Hornqvist redirects the shot past Jones! 2-1 Pens

2:02 - Malkin makes a turn around pass to Rust. He fires a spin-o-rama shot that Jones kicks out. Kunitz's rebound chance goes up high into the netting.

2:43 - Murray has been a fortress for the Pens this period. Sharks have had the better of the chances for the second period.

4:04 - This period the Pens only have four shots. They are looking for a spark to get them going again.

5:22 - Crosby and Malkin are taking a shift together. Been a fast period.

7:21 - The Pens come up with a huge penalty kill! Hagelin is set free.

9:21 - Now the Sharks get a crack on the power play as Hagelin sits for tripping.

11:16 - Penalties not really being called right now. Both teams getting away with everything.

14:40 - Tierney and Ward get a 2-on-1 chance. Murray makes a stretch pad/glove save on Ward's chance!

15:19 - Bruns is at the top of the blue paint, but Murray is not worried. He comes up with a huge save and holds strong.

18:24 - Puck is bouncing all over. Ice doesn't look to be smooth.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens have to come out with speed and put on the pressure! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period comes to an end and things are tied at 1-1.

1:38 - Pens battle behind the Sharks' net, but nothing comes of it.

3:10 - Marleau fires a high shot that Murray fights off. Sharks targeting Murray's high glove side.

3:24 - Some good cycling and then the Pens get a chance before Sharks clear. Sharks with the edge in pressure.

5:24 - Malkin just took a hard hit into the boards. Watching that hurt me.

8:04 - Fehr is denied in close by Jones.

9:15 - Jones commits some highway robbery to deny Kessel.

10:26 - Braun scores. Braun fires from the blue line and uses two players as a screen. It goes high glove on Murray, he never saw it coming. 1-1 tie game.

11:42 - Solid push back from the Pens as the Sharks came out with the initial jump.

14:31 - LOVEJOY SCORES! Lovejoy fires from the point, it goes off a Shark, and past the blocker of Jones. 1-0 Pens

15:02 - Pens power play comes to an end.

17:02 - Ward is found guilty of high-sticking and the Pens head onto the power play.

17:19 - The Sharks come out and get some offensive zone time. The Pens fourth line gets to work and puts the pressure on the Sharks. Great pressure by the Pens right now.

19:22 - The Pens start this one with icing the puck two consecutive times. Not the best idea.

20:00 - The puck has dropped in enemy territory! The Pens need to come out and match the intensity of the Sharks! The Shark Tank doesn't scare them! Lets Go Pens! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Speed is key for Penguins heading into Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final

By: MF,

We are back in familiar territory. The Pittsburgh Penguins hold a 1-0 series lead as they head into Stanley Cup Final Game Two against the San Jose Sharks. The Penguins are coming off a hard fought 3-2 win in Game One. It was a promising game for the Penguins and was a solid start to this series.

The Penguins received a huge boost from rookie forward, Bryan Rust. He has been on a hot streak lately. He lifted the Penguins over the Tampa Bay Lightning to advance to the Stanley Cup Final and he scored the opening goal in Game Two to get the Penguins going. Unfortunately, the Penguins may be without his services tonight. Rust suffered a upper-body injury after taking a high hit from Patrick Marleau (Sharks). Head Coach Mike Sullivan stated that he would be a game-time decision. It would be a huge loss as Rust has been improving each game and has given the Penguins an added bit of energy.

In addition, the Penguins were able to overwhelm the Sharks with their speed and quickness to the puck. It allowed them to take the 2-0 lead in Game One. However, they sat back in the second, which allowed the Sharks to tie things up. Ian Cole told the media today that they cannot sit back. The Sharks are a team that will take advantage of every chance you give them. The Penguins will have to play in front of them and not behind them. That will be critical in getting the win tonight.

On offense, Nick Bonino was the hero of Game One as the scored the game-winning goal (GWG) to give the Penguins the win. It was his second of the playoffs and ties his career high for GWGs in a playoff run, which was set in 2013 with the Anaheim Ducks. During that same game, Bonino tallied a career-high six shots on goal and career-high six blocked shots. He has been a key part of the Penguins offense as he centers the lethal and quick “HBK” line.

In the net, Matt Murray has been holding down the fort and making everyone forget that he is a rookie goaltender. He has been calm and solid. He made his way into the record books after earning his 12th win of the playoffs. He joins the list of rookie goalies with most wins in a playoff year. He ranks in at fourth (12 wins) and only three goalies are ahead of him with 15 wins each. Congratulations to Murray. It is well deserved and he worked hard for it.

Lastly, the Penguins have eight home playoff wins, which is only one win from the team record that was achieved in 1991, 2008, and 2009. They also have an all-time home record of 9-3 in the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins go into tonight’s game having outshot their opponent 80-43 in the past two games. They need to keep that up tonight. The Penguins need to use their speed, puck moving skills, and fire to put the Sharks on their heels. They have to keep up the pressure and not let up. Time to make this series 2-0 Penguins before heading to San Jose. Lets Go Pens! 

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Sheary - Crosby - Hornqvist
Kunitz - Malkin - Rust
Hagelin - Bonino - Kessel
Kuhnhackl - Cullen - Fehr

Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Lovejoy
Cole - Schultz

Murray in the net!

Play by Play
PENS 2 Sharks 1 OT


17:25 - SHEARY SCORES! Letang fakes a shot and makes a pass over to Sheary! Sheary rips one past the glove of a screened Jones! 2-1 Pens

18:15 - Murray with a quick pad save on Burns' shot from the point.

20:00 - Regular wasn't enough and this game requires overtime! The Pens need to end this one early with a win! Lets Go Pens!

3rd Period
0:00 - We are headed to overtime.

0:25 - Huge scramble in front of Murray! Big saves by the rookie goaltender!

1:02 - Those missed chances and posts have come back to haunt the Pens.

4:05 - Braun scores. The Sharks win an offfensive zone faceoff and win the battle behind the net. Braun fires from the blue line and it goes past the glove of a screened Murray, off the post, and into the net. 1-1 tie game

5:33 - The Crosby, Sheary, and Hornqvist line have been unreal. They are on the verge of scoring every shift.

7:30 - The Pens pushing back after the Sharks dominated the beginning of this period. Only one goal is the difference right now. Jones coming up huge for Sharks and Murray fir Pens. Goalie battle.

8:10 - Crosby is also on another level. He wants it bad.

9:21 - Kessel rings another shot off the goal post!

10:28 - Crosby and Hornqvist have an odd-man rush. Crosby's tries for a slapper, but his stick breaks as he takes his shot.

11:41 - Malkin has had a solid game and looks like he will score at any moment.

12:59 - First line for the Pens get another chance, but Martin with a solid block.

14:10 - Sharks have had more offensive zone time in this period. The Pens playing more defense.

15:52 - Tierney with a shutter step move to get around Maatta and has a one-on-one chance. He rings one off the crossbar.

17:01 - Sharks changing up some line combinations to get something going.

19:11 - Pens with a successful penalty kill and Cole is set free.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens have a huge penalty kill to start this period! Need solid kill and then overwhelming pressure! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - First period ends and the Pens have the 1-0 lead over the Sharks!

1:11 - Now the Sharks get a power play as Cole sits for interference. Huge kill for the Pens.

1:51 - Sharks have gone 10 minutes without a shot.

3:51 - Malkin with a spinning backhander that is stopped by Jones. He is focused.

4:41 - Hagelin and Bonino get a 2 on 1 chance. Hagelin holds and fires a shot off the crossbar.

6:38 - Malkin circles the offensive zone and finds Kunitz open. Kunitz shatters his stick on the shot.

7:09 - Pens putting the pressure on the defense of the Sharks, not giving them anytime to make plays.

9:10 - Pens power play ends as Martin is set free.

11:10 - Martin is headed back to the box and this time for high-sticking. Power play chance for the Pens.

11:39 - KESSEL SCORES! Bonino and Kessel get a 2 on 1 chance! Bonino shoots/passes and it goes off the stick of a diving Polak past Jones! Kessel whacks at it for good measure! 1-0 Pens

13:32 - The Sharks cycle, but the Pens get the puck and send Crosby up the ice with Sheary and Hornqvist. Jones makes a save and holds for a whistle.

15:50 - Hertl with a wraparound attempt that is closed off by Murray.

17:26 - Kuhnhackl is denied by Jones and Cullen gets to the rebound first. Jones comes up with another quick save.

18:02 - The second line of the Pens (Kunitz - Malkin - Rust) with some good offensive zone time. Good cycle going.

20:00 - Second period is underway! The Pens need to keep putting shots on net, use their speed, and keep working! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period ends and this game is scoreless.

1:27 - Sharks battle behind the Pens' net, but the Pens are able to get the puck out of their zone.

4:01 - Crosby with a great shift. Grabs the puck of the air, puts it on his stick, and lets go of a wicked backhand.

5:51 - Power play chance for the Pens comes to an end.

7:51 - Martin puts the puck over the glass in the defensive zone and will head to the box. The Pens get the first power play of the game.

8:58 - Jones has had to make some big saves as the Pens are shooting every chance they get.

10:32 - Kuntiz rings a shot off the goal post!

12:13 - Jones denies Kesswl with two pad saves.

12:59 - Sharks misplay the puck at the blue line and that starts a race for the puck. Fehr wins that race. Great effort by Fehr.

14:27 - Hornqvist with an unreal pass to Crosby to enter the offensive zone. The puck bounces around and Crosby throws the puck on from the half boards! Sheary is denied by Jones!

14:46 - Malkin slaps a shot that is redirect into the netting.

15:52 - More of an even start to this game. Pens end up icing the puck.

18:13 - Sharks get to fore-checking and cycle the puck well. Murray with huge save off a redirect by Ward.

20:00 - Stanley Cup Final Game 2 at Consol! The Pens need to come out with speed and keep pushing the game! The Sharks need to be overwhelmed once again! Lets Go Pens!