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! 

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