This was our first glance at the new-look Penguins following the Deadline, so that’s something to keep in mind. You also have to keep in mind that the San Jose Sharks are one of the top five teams in the NHL, and the Pens were able to jump out to a lead and managed to play with them, even though they were severely outshot, 47-22.
The difference for the Penguins was their power play capitalizing on 2 of their 4 chances, but Marleau’s shorthanded goal changed it all.
And while people are raising red flags in the wake of this game, let’s all remember the Penguins started their backup goaltender. Zatkoff made it pretty easy for everyone who watched this game to remember he was in net, though. That fluke goal hurt. Crosby was a minus-5 and stuff, too. It's a statistical anomaly, which is why it'll be the talk of the town today.
Recap of this game:
The Sharks brought out Olympic Silver Medalist Polina Edmunds to drop a ceremonial faceoff.
He was a little far away, but hopefully he caught a glimpse of what a medal looks like.
Lines for this one:
People are pushing for either Stempniak or Goc to see top-line minutes, but the Pens may be wise to balance the talent throughout the lineup at least until Mark Gibbons falls down a manhole.
Great pace to this game early. It was like everyone took meth before the game. Halfway through the first, Jokinen took a penalty. The Sharks power play was like a tornado, earthquake, and typhoon all taking place in your house. Zatkoff was calm, though, and the Pens killed it.
Then came a 72-second stretch that should have buried the Sharks. The Pens had picked up the pace, and Goc’s fourth line generated a chance. Maatta made a sick kick pass somewhere in there and went to the net for a rebound off a point shot. Everything bounced perfectly, and Maatta buried home the rebound. 1-0.
On the next shift, Brent Burns attacked Scuderi for some reason, and the Pens went on the PP. After some initial difficulty and a zone clear, the Pens re-entered the zone, but the Sharks acted like Chris Kunitz didn’t matter. He cruised into the slot, Malkin found him, and it was in the back of the net. 2-0.
The Sharks looked happy to get into the locker room only down 2-0.
Pens looked really strong to start the second, and things looked promising.
Brent Burns had already made an appearance in the game when he eliminated Rob Scuderi, but he started to really put his stamp on the game in the first five minutes of the second. It was a foreshadowing.
Pens had an early PP, couldn’t capitalize, and you could feel the momentum shift a little bit. Tanner Glass saw this and decided to commit an awful turnover then go to the box.
The Sharks PP gave their worst effort of the night, and the Pens killed it. Zatkoff was gaining confidence with every save.
Midway through the second, Bylsma put his juggler’s hat on, throwing out combos of Geno-Crosby-Neal and Kunitz-Stempniak-Jokinen.
The Sharks were getting frustrated. It didn’t help them that Malkin was everywhere. He had some big-time chances but couldn't beat Niemi. One of those goals wouldn’t have hurt.
Shit started getting real in the last 5 or 6 minutes of the period. We saw some playoff-like hitting, with Kunitz and Despres both getting destroyed. The refs threw away the whistles as the Shark came in waves. They finally got one past Zatkoff by throwing a puck to the net. It hit something, and it was 2-1.
The “something” was Adam Burish, and he went into dick mode by bumping into a couple Pens on his way back to the Sharks bench to celebrate.
The Sharks’ size and physicality were starting to take over the game. It’s a brand of hockey that we don’t get to see too often in the East.
Orpik took a bad penalty late in the second that leaked into the third.
The Sharks were primed to score on the remainder of that PP, but they couldn’t do it. The Sharks went 0 for 4 on the night, but it was two minutes of madness every time.
The Pens had a chance to grab the game by the throat when some dude for the Sharks got the stick up into Despres and got dealt with a 4-minute double major. The penalty call triggered a chain of insane events.
TURNING POINT ONE
The Pens’ PP just didn’t have any jam, while the Sharks got two chances shorthanded. It was the Marleau-Malkin show. Malkin was able to stop him once, but not twice. Marleau stickhandled past him like he didn’t exist then beat Zatkoff to make it 2-2.
TURNING POINT PART TWO
Olli Maatta didn’t like the way the game was going, so he put the Pens back in front 20 seconds later on the PP. 3-2.
But a little over a minute later, Brent Burns evened the seesaw. 3-3.
Dick celebration after the goal, but that’s why villains are villains.
And we aren't going to talk about Brian Gibbons on that play.
Like a minute after the Burns goal, Jokinen took a penalty, and it felt like the Pens were doomed as they went on the kill. The Sharks’ PP is like Courteney Cox in her Friends prime. But they just couldn’t finish in this game.
The pace was still awesome after the kill. Niskanen had a big chance but couldn’t get the Pens out in front again. Then Joe Thornton made this pass to Brent Burns that can't be explained that sprung him on a breakaway. Burns hit the post with the shot and then tried to eat the post.
WHIPPING IT OUT
Joe Thornton started making appearances in the third period. And then he innocently threw one on net from Hawaii. There’s really no explanation for the why the puck went in, but it did. 4-3 Sharks.
It was a deflating goal to give up, and the Sharks had the lead for the first time in the game. Pens couldn’t do anything, and the Sharks added an empty-netter by dick Burns to close it out. 5-3.
- Let's just all move on.