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! 

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