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

2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Stanley Cup Finals – Game #6
#2 Pittsburgh Penguins at #3 San Jose Sharks
Penguins Lead Best of Seven Series 3-2
Sunday, June 12, 2016, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
SAP Center – San Jose, California
Opening Line: San Jose -120 / Pittsburgh +100
Current Line: San Jose -110 / Pittsburgh -110
Opening Total: over 5 -110 / under 5 -110
Current Total:   over 5  -125 / under 5  +105

The Sharks look to force a game seven against the Penguins.
The Sharks look to force a game seven against the Penguins.

The San Jose Sharks stayed alive in the Stanley Cup Final Thursday night with a 4-2 win on the road at the Pittsburgh Penguins in game five. The series returns to San Jose for game six Sunday night. The Sharks look to force a game seven Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. The Penguins can clinch their fourth Stanley Cup and first since 2009.

Pittsburgh won the first two games at home 3-2 in game one and 2-1 in overtime in the second game. San Jose won game three 3-2 in overtime, but Pittsburgh won 3-1 in game four.

In game five, the Penguins were looking to hoist the Cup on home ice. San Jose goalie Martin Jones had other plans though. The Sharks scored twice in the first three minutes of the game from Brent Burns and Logan Couture. Pittsburgh scored two goals of their own 21 seconds apart on a power play goal from Evgeni Malkin. Carl Hagelin tied it up just after five minutes into the game. Melker Karlsson gave the Sharks the lead again with just over five minutes left in the first. After a wild first period, neither team would score again until Joe Pavelski scored an empty netter to seal the deal for the Sharks and also send the game over the total. The Penguins had 46 shots to just 22 for the Sharks.  San Jose won 36 faceoffs to 34 for Pittsburgh. The Sharks were 0/2 on the power play and the Penguins were 1/3. San Jose has one power play goal in the series and that was in game one. Jones made 44/46 saves in an incredible performance. Penguins’ goalie Matt Murray struggled making only 18/21 saves.

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.  Pittsburgh is 63-34-4-4 this season and the total is 46-41-18 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 60-39-3-3 this season and the total is 51-43-12.

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Pittsburgh is outscoring teams 3.04-2.35 in the playoffs. The Penguins average 35.2 shots per game and opponents average 28.4 per game. Pittsburgh is 17/75 (22.7%) on the power play in the playoffs and 55/65 (84.6%) 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 14-6 in the playoffs with a 2.14 goals against average. He has made 513 of 556 saves (.923) 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 22 points with ten goals.Nick Bonino has 18 points with 14 assists. Evgeni Malkin has 18 points with 12 assists.  Center Sidney Crosby has 17 points in the playoffs including 11 assists. Carl Hagelin has 16 points with 10 assists. Kris Letang has 14 points with 12 assists. Patric Hornqvist has 12 points with 8 goals in the playoffs. Six other players have at least 6 points in the playoffs. 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 3.22-2.30 in the playoffs. The Sharks lead the league in playoff scoring. San Jose averages 27.1 shots per game and opponents average 29 per game. The Sharks are 18/73 (24.7%) on the power play and 50/62 (80.6%) on the penalty kill. The Sharks have allowed two shorthanded goals in the playoffs.

Goalie Martin Jones is 13-9 in the playoffs for the Sharks. He has a GAA of 2.17 and a save percentage of .920 (563/612). 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 29 points including 20 assists. Joe Pavelski has 23 points with 14 goals.  Defenseman Brent Burns has 23 points with 16 assists.  Joe Thornton has 21 points with 18 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 out with a lower body injury.

Pittsburgh is 7-1 ATS in Sunday games, 21-5 after scoring 2 goals or less, 23-8 against teams with winning records, 20-7 after the opponent allows 2 goals or less, 14-5 in road games, 8-3 against Western Conference teams, 5-2 in Stanley Cup Final games, and 42-18 overall. The under 4-1 in this series.

San Jose is 8-2 at home, 22-8 against teams with winning records, 37-18 on two days rest, and 2-6 after a win. The home team is 15-6 in this series recently. The Sharks are 19-8-1 against the Penguins recently including 12-2-1 at home.

San Jose’s top four scorers all had at least one point in game five. That was a good start, but the Sharks simply have to shoot more. Also, they can’t count on Jones making 44 saves again even as great as he has been in the playoffs. Pittsburgh goalie Murray is 5-0 in the playoffs after a Penguins’ loss. I think he bounces back and Pittsburgh wraps it up tonight.

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