NHL Stanley Cup Final Game Two: San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins

2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Stanley Cup Final – Game #2
#3 San Jose Sharks vs #2 Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opening Line: Pittsburgh -140 / San Jose +120
Current Line: Pittsburgh -130 / San Jose +110
Opening Total: over 5  -110 / under 5 -110
Current Total: under 5 1/2 -145 / over 5 1/2 +125

The Penguins won game one of the Stanley Cup Final against the Sharks. Game two is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins won game one of the Stanley Cup Final against the Sharks. Game two is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Penguins won game one of the Stanley Cup Final at home against the San Jose Sharks with a thrilling 3-2 victory. Now, the Penguins look to hold serve at home before the series switches to San Jose for the next two games. Game two is Wednesday night in the Steel City.

Pittsburgh dominated the first period with 15 shots to 4 for San Jose. Pittsburgh scored two goals within a minute of each other from Brian Rust and Conor Sheary. The Sharks fought back in the second period with two goals of their own from Tomas Hertl on the power play and Patrick Marleau. San Jose had 13 shots to 8 for Pittsburgh in the period. Neither team could score in the third. Overtime looked imminent until Nick Bonino scored for the Penguins with just over two minutes left. Pittsburgh had 41 shots to 26 for San Jose. The Penguins won 33 faceoffs to 29 for the Sharks. San Jose was 1/2 on the power play and Pittsburgh was 0/3. Goalie Matt Murray made 24/26 saves for the Penguins. Sharks’ goalie Martin Jones made 38/41 saves.

San Jose is coached by Peter DeBoer. The Sharks finished third in the Pacific Division with 98 points. San Jose beat the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the first round, but the first four games were decided by one goal. The Sharks then beat the Nashville Predators in seven games in the second round. San Jose beat the St. Louis Blues in six games in the Western Conference Finals to advance to their first ever Stanley Cup Final. San Jose is 58-37-3-3 this season and the total is 50-40-12.

Pittsburgh is coached by Mike Sullivan. The Penguins finished second in the Metropolitan Division with 104 points. Pittsburgh dominated the New York Rangers in 5 games in the first round. The Penguins outscored the Rangers 21-10 in the series. Pittsburgh upset the Washington Capitals in six games in the second round. Five of the six games were decided by one goal including 3 overtime games. The Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals including 2-1 in the last game Thursday night.  Pittsburgh is 61-32-4-4 this season and the total is 45-38-18 this season.

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San Jose is outscoring teams 3.42-2.32 in the playoffs. The Sharks lead the league in playoff scoring. San Jose averages 27.9 shots per game and opponents average 27.8 per game. The Sharks are 18/65 (27.7%) on the power play and 43/54 (81.5%) on the penalty kill. The Sharks have allowed two shorthanded goals in the playoffs.

Goalie Martin Jones is 12-7 in the playoffs for the Sharks. He has a GAA of 2.17 and a save percentage of .919 (478/520). He has three shutouts in the post-season. James Reimer is the back-up but has only played for 29 minutes in the playoffs.

Center Logan Couture leads all playoff scorers with 25 points including 17 assists. Joe Pavelski has 22 points with 13 goals.  Defenseman Brent Burns has 22 points with 16 assists.  Joe Thornton has 18 points with 15 assists. Patrick Marleau has 13 points with eight assists. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Joel Ward, Tomas Hertl, and Joonas Donskoi all have at least 9 points in the playoffs. Left wing Matt Nieto is probable with an upper body injury.

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Pittsburgh is outscoring teams 3.21-2.37 in the playoffs. The Penguins average 35.4 shots per game and opponents average 29.5 per game. Pittsburgh is 15/67 (22.4%) on the power play in the playoffs and 47/57 (82.5%) on the penalty kill. The Penguins have one short handed goal and has allowed one as well.

Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury missed the first two rounds with a concussion but started one game in the Conference finals. Rookie Matt Murray is 12-4 in the playoffs with a 2.20 goals against average. He has made 428 of 463 saves (.924) with one shutout. Fleury is 0-1 with a 3.03 GAA. He has made 28/32 saves (.875). Jeff Zatkoff is 1-1 with a 3.07 GAA. He has made 59/65 saves (.908). Zatkoff played in two games in the first round.

Phil Kessel has 18 points with nine assists. Center Sidney Crosby has 16 points in the playoffs including 10 assists.   Nick Bonino has 16 points with 12 assists.  Evgeni Malkin has 15 points with 11 assists. Carl Hagelin has 13 points with 8 assists. Patric Hornqvist has 11 points with 7 goals in the playoffs. Kris Letang has 11 points with 9 assists.  Six other players have at least 5 points in the playoffs. Brian Rust is questionable with a head injury. Left wing Scott Wilson and center Kevin Porter are both out indefinitely. Defenseman Trevor Daley is out with a broken ankle.

San Jose is 4-1 on one day rest, 17-5 after scoring 2 goals or less, 20-6 against teams with winning records, and 2-5 in road games. The under is 4-1 in this series recently and 6-1-1 in Pittsburgh. The Sharks are 17-6-1 against the Penguins recently.

Pittsburgh is 6-1 against Western Conference teams, 5-1 in Stanley Cup Final games, 4-1 against Pacific teams, 26-7 on one day rest, 21-6 against teams with winning records, 24-7 at home, 22-8 after the opponent scores 2 goals or less, 19-7 after allowing 2 goals or less and after a win, and 40-16 overall. The home team is 13-4 in this series recently.

As expected, game one was exciting and I think Game two will be close as well. I think this will be a long series and I like the Sharks to earn a split before going home.

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