San Jose and Pittsburgh was exciting early. The crowd at Console Energy Center booed the Sharks players when they announced the lineups. The Sharks won the first six face offs to start the game. Olli Maata did a tremendous job defending early with a blocked shot and a hit. That kept Pittsburgh in the game despite San Jose's early execution in the first period. The Penguins won the next four face offs after getting clobbered on face offs early and scored two goals in the first period.
Bryan Rust built off of his game 7 momentum from the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals by scoring his third goal in the last two games for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Conor Sheary made it a 2-0 game in the first period after Sidney Crosby recorded his 10th assist of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Pittsburgh outshot the Sharks 15-4 in the first period. Kris Letang and Olli Maata both played tremendous and their line helped Matt Murray in the first period of the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals.
Peter Deboer did a great job motivating the Sharks and adjusting as head coach for the Sharks after Pittsburgh outplayed the Sharks near the end of the first period.
San Jose's power play goal by Tomas Hertl made it a 2-1 game. You cannot put the Sharks on the power play. Brent Burns dished another assist which tied the game at 2 after 2 periods.
San Jose outshot the Penguins 13-8 in the second period. Now was Mike Sullivan's chance to adjust as head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins heading into the third period.
Pittsburgh outshot the Sharks 18-9 in the third period. The Penguins were the better team, but San Jose had a lot of momentum heading into the third period. The game remained tied until the 2 minute mark of the third period.
San Jose had a 3 on 1 chance where they could have taken a shot on Matt Murray. The Sharks hesitated and it felt scripted after they had all that momentum in the second period.
Pittsburgh's game-winning goal by line 3 center Nick Bonino came on Brent Burns losing his stick. Burns should have went towards the crease to retrieve his stick rather than defend outside the net near the boards. Kris Letang and Carl Hagelin deserve major credit for getting the puck to Bonino to put Pittsburgh ahead 3-2.
San Jose got a power play seconds later. Pittsburgh managed to kill this penalty. There was a no icing call with 6 seconds left that the officials forgot to call. I didn't like the officiating in this game. The Penguins got a lot of breaks tonight especially in the third period. That being said, the Penguins are the best team left in terms of overall talent so I expected them to win despite a brilliant effort by Martin Jones in the third period with San Jose.
San Jose has to adjust in game 2 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals. If they don't the Penguins could end this series very quickly.
Click the link below to get information on Pittsburghs AHL partner, the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins.
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