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Sheary beats Sharks in OT
San Jose limps home down 0-2 in the series
6/1/16 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks first foray into the Stanley Cup Finals is turning into a public flogging. San was dominated in Game 2, and by some grace of the hockey gods they managed to get the game to overtime, where they would fall 2-1. Rookie Conor Sheary snapped a shot past a screened Martin Jones 2:35 into overtime to hand the Pittsburgh Penguins a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. San Jose spent the majority of the night scrambling in their own zone, defending against a superior Penguins lineup that owned them.

If not for Jones, this game would have been a blood bath. Jones was by far the best Shark on the ice, but he didn't get the offensive support necessary to win this game. The Sharks netminder was thrown to the wolves for a second straight game, but he kept hi team in the game.

Pittsburgh threw 23 shots at Jones through the first 40 minutes, but that stat didn't tell the whole story. The puck never seemed to leave the Sharks zone, as the Sharks were constantly on their heels.

Like Game 1, the Penguins controlled the opening 20 minutes, dictating things with their speed. The Sharks struggled to mount any form of offense because they seemingly spent the majority of the period hemmed into their own zone.

The difference however was that the Sharks kept things simple defensively, preventing any worthwhile scoring chances by the Penguins, and Jones made the saves when he needed to. Pittsburgh out-shot San Jose 11-6 in the period, but they didn't have any sustained chances.

Chris Kunitz came closest to scoring for either team 9:20 into the game when he rang a shot off the cross bar after snapping a wrist shot from the slot.

Paul Martin setup the game's first power play when he lofted a puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty at 12:09. As was the case in Game 1, the Sharks penalty killers kept the Consol Energy Center crowd muffled by keeping the puck away from Jones.

San Jose didn't apply any real pressure in the offensive zone until the 15 minute mark of the period, when they worked a couple of sustained drives in the Penguins zone. The period would end deadlocked in a scoreless tie.

Shoddy puck possession would eventually catch up to San Jose. Roman Polak's half-hearted pass in front of his own net, led to a turnover, but Pittsburgh quickly returned teh favor. Brendan Dillon grabbed the Penguins turnover and tried to skate up the left wing, but Karl Hagelin stripped him of the puck and sent it to Nick Bonino on the left side. Bonino pushed a limp-wristed shot that Polak then deflected toward his own net after he fell face first to the ice. Phil Kessel tapped home the deflection to put the Penguins up 1-0.

Defenseman Paul Martin was called for a high stick 30 seconds later to back the Sharks right back up. The one bright spot for San Jose has been their penalty kill, which diffused the situation by stopping a 4th consecutive Penguins power play.

Ian Cole was called for interference at the end of the 2nd period, but San Jose whiffed on their lone man advantage of the night.

DeBoer shuffled his lines to start the 3rd period, moving Patrick Marleau down to center the 3rd line, and shuffling Joel Ward up to the 2nd line to play along side Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi. The move seemed to spark the Sharks.

Chris Tierney had a partial breakaway 4 minutes into the period, but his shot clanked off the crossbar.

Kessel countered with his own post shot midway through the period, bouncing a scoring chance off the left pipe.

Justin Braun was the Sharks savior late in the period when his shot from the right point weaved through traffic and beat Matt Murray for his 1st goal of the playoffs. San Jose created a web of traffic in front of the Penguins goaltender, who held a glove up but never seemed to track it.

San Jose made another push late but they simply ran out of time.

The overtime came down to two events. The Sharks opened the extra session by firing with both pistols. They were finally the aggressor, throwing a pair of quality scoring chances at Murray.

Mike Sullivan was forced to burn his timeout 1:45 into overtime after the Sharks sustained pressure in the Penguins zone forced an icing. That may have been the most crucial coaching decision of the game.

The Penguins won the ensuing faceoff and cleared the puck, pushing it into the Sharks zone. Largely quiet all night, Penguins captain won the final faceoff of the game, pulling the puck back to Kris Letang on the left point.

Letang faked a shot then slid the puck to Sheary in the high slot. Patric Hornqvist backed into the area at the top of the Sharks crease as Braun tried to step out to block Sheary's shot. Both players ended up providing the perfect screen in front of Jones, who never saw the shot. Sheary's shot whipped past Jones to the glove side and the Penguins accomplished their goal of taking both games on home ice.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks made a lineup change by inserting Matt Nieto in favor of Dainius Zubrus. The move was intended to leverage Nieto's speed, but the forward was a non-factor all night. The winger returned after missing most of the playoffs with an upper body injury.

* San Jose continues to fail miserably in the faceoff circle. The Sharks lost 55% of the draws in Game 2. None were bigger than the last draw of the game. Joe Pavelski won a paltry 6 of 16 draws (38%).

* Pavelski was also AWOL from an offensive perspective. After tearing up the first three rounds, Pavelski and Logan Couture combined for 2 shots in the game.

* Joel Ward and Tomas Hertl led all Sharks forwards with shots on goal each. Brent Burns led all Sharks skaters with 4 shots on goal.

* Sidney Crosby was held to 1 shot on goal, but he killed the Sharks in the faceoff circle, winning 17 of 24 draws (71%), including the faceoff that led to the game winning goal.

* San Jose is now 0-4 in overtime during the playoffs.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 0 0 1 0 1
PIT 0 1 0 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, PIT, Kessel 10 (Bonino, Hagelin), 8:20.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Braun 1 (Couture, Ward), 15:55.
Overtime - 3, PIT, Sheary 4 (Letang, Crosby), 2:35.
1st period - Martin, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 12:09.
2nd period - Martin, SJ (high sticking), 8:50; Cole, PIT (interference), 18:49.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 30 28
PIT - Murray 22 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 6 5 9 2 22
PIT 11 12 6 1 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
PIT 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Conor Sheary
Phil Kessel
Justin Braun
Referees: McCauley, Sutherland. Linesmen: Racicot, Murphy.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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