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! 

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