NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game Four: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks

2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Stanley Cup Finals – Game #4
#2 Pittsburgh Penguins at #3 San Jose Sharks
Penguins Lead Best of Seven Series 2-1
Monday, June 6, 2016, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
SAP Center – San Jose, California
Opening Line: San Jose -140 / Pittsburgh +120
Current Line: San Jose -135 / Pittsburgh +115
Opening Total: over 5 1/2 -110 / under 5 1/2 -110
Current Total: under 5 1/2 -165 / over 5 1/2 +145

The Sharks look to even the Stanley Cup Final against the Penguins in game four.
The Sharks look to even the Stanley Cup Final against the Penguins in game four.

The home team has won every game of the Stanley Cup Final by one goal. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the first two games in the Steel City 3-2 in game one and 2-1 in overtime in game two. The San Jose Sharks got back into the series with a 3-2 victory of their own in overtime in game three Saturday night. The Sharks look to even the series in game four Monday night before the series moves back to Pittsburgh for game five.

In game three, Pittsburgh scored first five minutes into the first period on a goal from Ben Lovejoy. San Jose evened the score four minutes later on a goal from Justin Braun. Patric Hornqvist scored for the Penguins with just under a minute left in the second period. In the third period, San Jose went on a four minute power play. The Sharks could not score until seconds after the power play ended when Joel Ward buried it in the back of the net. For the second straight game the teams went into overtime. Rookie Joonas Donskoi scored the game winner for the Sharks on a beautiful spinning goal that went top shelf 12 minutes into the extra period. Pittsburgh had 42 shots to 26 for San Jose. It was the 12th straight playoff game the Penguins had more shots than their opponents. The Sharks won 39 faceoffs to 36 for the Penguins. San Jose goalie Martin Jones made 40 of 42 saves. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray made 23 of 26 saves. The Penguins were 0/1 on the power play and the Sharks were 0/3.

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 62-33-4-4 this season and the total is 45-40-18 this season.

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 59-38-3-3 this season and the total is 50-42-12.

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Pittsburgh is outscoring teams 3.10-2.33 in the playoffs. The Penguins average 35.4 shots per game and opponents average 29 per game. Pittsburgh is 15/70 (21.4%) on the power play in the playoffs and 51/61 (83.6%) 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 13-5 in the playoffs with a 2.15 goals against average. He has made 472 of 511 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 19 points with ten goals. Center Sidney Crosby has 17 points in the playoffs including 11 assists.   Nick Bonino has 17 points with 13 assists.  Evgeni Malkin has 15 points with 11 assists. Carl Hagelin has 14 points with 9 assists. Kris Letang has 12 points with 10 assists. He is probable for undisclosed reasons. Patric Hornqvist has 12 points with 8 goals in the playoffs. Six other players have at least 5 points in the playoffs. Defenseman Olli Maata is also probable for undisclosed reasons.  Left wing Scott Wilson and center Kevin Porter are both out indefinitely. Defenseman Trevor Daley is out with a broken ankle.

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San Jose is outscoring teams 3.29-2.29 in the playoffs. The Sharks lead the league in playoff scoring. San Jose averages 27.5 shots per game and opponents average 28.6 per game. The Sharks are 18/69 (26.1%) on the power play and 47/57 (82.5%) on the penalty kill. The Sharks have allowed two shorthanded goals in the playoffs.

Goalie Martin Jones is 13-8 in the playoffs for the Sharks. He has a GAA of 2.13 and a save percentage of .922 (546/592). 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 26 points including 18 assists. Joe Pavelski has 22 points with 13 goals.  Defenseman Brent Burns has 22 points with 16 assists.  Joe Thornton has 20 points with 17 assists. Patrick Marleau has 13 points with eight assists. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Joel Ward, Tomas Hertl, and Joonas Donskoi all have at least 11 points in the playoffs. Hertl is questionable with a lower body injury.

Pittsburgh is 4-0 in Monday games, 21-5 on one day rest, 4-1 in Stanley Cup Final games, 7-2 against Western Conference teams, 20-6 after scoring 2 goals or less, 22-7 against teams with winning records, 12-4 against teams with winning home records, 19-7 after the opponent allows 2 goals or less, 13-5 in road games, 5-2 against Pacific Division teams, and 41-17 overall. The under is 6-1 in this series recently.

San Jose is 8-1 at home, 4-1 against teams with winning road records, and 2-5 after a win. The home team is 17-5 in this series recently. The Sharks are 18-7-1 overall against the Penguins including 12-1-1 in San Jose.

The Sharks got back in the series with the win Saturday, but it means nothing if they don’t win game four too. Donskoi’s game winner was the first time San Jose led in the series. Jones has been spectacular and kept the Sharks within striking distance in every game. San Jose needs to improve on the power play. I think the Sharks even the series in another close game.

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