Although the Sharks aren't even at the top of their own division, it's no question the Sharks are a great barometer for where the Pens are in the NHL. No surprise it is right at the top. If the Penguins blew a two-goal lead while at full capacity, we'd be upset. But without Crosby, Staal, Kennedy, and Michalek, and then playing a solid chunk of this game with only 5 D, the Pens played right with the Sharks.
This was one of the more entertaining games of the season. Just two good hockey teams going back and forth. There is no one to blameand no fingers to point. Until this team is healthy for more than a five-game stretch, if you attempt to provide diagnosis of anything, you're not being realistic. It is hard to remember a more bizarre stretch of injuries in a Penguins season.
INJURY UPDATE: Ben Lovejoy has a broken wrist.
L.A. Saturday night.
Read More for the recap…
Anthem pics from Stiles, Will R.
Huge Pens fan presence in SJ.
Sharks honored Jumbo Joe Thornton for playing 1,000 games:
Defending Thornton is something Sharks fans have to do a lot. People always make the joke "Joe Thorthon disappeared." Guy played 1,000 games. One of the best passers in the game. Get real.
Pens jump on the Sharks early. Niemi loses his stick after a save on on Neal. Pens kept the pressure on, and Malkin shimmied a puck over to open ice. Engelland swept in, grabbed it, threw it on net.
Right after that, Niskanen gets kneed. But it didn't look too much like a knee. He hobbled to the bench. We didn't even get finished processing the Niskanen injury, and the Pens scored again. Malkin pushed it to the net. Hits some shit. Goes in. 2-0.
Bye, Niemi. Sharks call their time-out. They collected their composure and finally sustained some pressure. But the Pens kept pushing back. They were making the Sharks look baddddd. Neal had a chance on a one-timer. Kunitz was wide open for a chance. New Sharks goalie was just as shaky as Niemi. Engelland had another chance on a feed from Geno. Had some time to make a decision and took a shot. No dice. Engelland destroyed Thornton somewhere in there, too.
Adams and Winchester fought late in the period. No clue why the Sharks were looking for a momentum swing that late in the period. Had little to no time to get anything going before the period ended. Still a bizarre decision on Adams' part to drop the gloves.
Pens were outshooting the Sharks 15-4 at the end of the first.
Engelland drops the gloves with Clowe off the faceoff. Probably 'cause Clowe was chirping him for not dropping with Winchester.
Clowe is kind of a beast.
The Sharks score a goal not even 3 minutes into the second. Patty Marleau. 2-1.
Apparently Marleau has never scored a goal before. Jesus. Letang got smokkkked.
The Sharks continued swarming after that. Great action both ways, too. Ben Lovejoy messed up his wrist, looked like. Not good at all.
The Pens had to keep icing it in the middle of the period. Surprise: Neal-Malkin-Sully lift the Pens. Sullivan leads an odd-man rush. Every other line dumps it into the corner, but Sullivan slows the play down and feeds Letang. Letang one-touches it to Malkin. Geno shoots. Save. Malkin redirects it in with his skate, Toronto takes a peek.
Still good. 3-1. Later looks at the goal determined it was Neal's goal. Still credited to Malkin. No clue.
The Sharks got the game's first PP when Orpik goes off for no reason. Huge kill.
Brent Burns tried to buy a boarding call when Sully hit him near the boards. Get up.
Pav had a great chance at the end of the second, but he missed the net. Shots were all notched up at 21 at the end of two.
Pens were in the Sharks zone for the first 5 minutes of the third. Sharks looked lost. Sharks finally started getting their shit together. MAF was gonna
start getting tested. Made some big saves. The Sharks were eventually gonna get a goal, and then it came. Clowe. 3-2.
Clowe is just a big-time player. Very similar game to Jordan Staal.
Game dipped to under 10 minutes left, and MAF got tested again by Marleau.
Just under 5 minutes, the Sharks tie it. 3-3. Pens just didn't look ready for the surge they should've expected in the third. Some guy no one has ever heard of scored. Wish there was a way of tracking that stat.
Matt Cooke hit the pipe on a broken play. Then Neal and Sully joined Malkin for some chances. The third period was Wrestlemania III mode.
Great action for the entire overtime, except for when the Pens couldn't get out of their zone for like a minute. Sharks had the best chances early. Then the Pens got theirs. Great ending. On to the shootout.
Sharks choose to shoot first. MAF made the save.
Letang displayed unreal hards, but the Sharks backup goal tightened his shit up. (Another thing that always happens: Backup Goalie Syndrome.)
Next up was some idiot. Save by MAF. Malkin's turn:
Poke check city.
Ryan Clowe next.
Generic backup goalie then stops Dupes.
Kid lower right-hand corner. What it is all about. Game.
-Shark Tank seemed loud.
-Backup goalie shutting down the Pens.
-Some guy no one has heard of scores.