Breakdown: Game 20 – Penguins 1, Sharks 3

Breakdown

By: @chetstead

The Penguins experienced a bit of a letdown after two encouraging games.

The visiting Sharks held the Penguins to a single goal despite the fact that Pittsburgh took close to 40 shots in the game.

A couple unfortunate bounces gave the Sharks the lead and the Pens simply couldn’t beat Martin Jones to get back in the game.

It was Paul Martin’s first game back in Pittsburgh. He looked as good as ever, though Brent Burns was the Sharks defenseman who stole the show in this game.

 

First period

The Pens started the period with a flurry of shots before the Sharks got rolling, but they had nothing to show for it after the first five minutes.

Then Brent Burns scored an early goal after Kessel left him wide open in the slot.

Beau Bennett absolutely crushed somebody with a check, then the Penguins went on the powerplay as Brown tried to take out Bennett’s knee. The PP lasted for a brief moment before Hornqvist accidentally interfered with a Sharks defender. The Sharks had some chances on the 4v4. Then Kunitz interfered with someone else and the Sharks went on the powerplay.

 

Second period

In the words of Paul Steigerwald, “Burns just loves to shoot the puck.” Five shots for Burns with only four minutes elapsed in the second.

Malkin and Kessel had several big chances at the goal, but Burns broke up Kessel’s shot attempt.

Scuderi got high sticked after blocking a Pavelski shot attempt. Pavelski’s stick cut Scuderi’s chin, so it was a double minor. The first line managed to get a goal on its second shift, with a Crosby one-timer bouncing back to Hornqvist and the second rebound falling at Kessel’s feet. Kessel buried it and the Pens still had two more minutes of powerplay. Lots of good puck movement for the top PP unit, but the score would stay tied at the end of the second minor.

The Sharks jumped back into the lead as another Burns shot found its way into the net with traffic in front of Fleury. The puck was deflected by Scuderi on the way to the net.

The ensuing minutes saw several odd-man rushes for both teams, back and forth up and down the ice. The Pens passed up several chances by opting to attempt one too many passes.

Paul Martin high-sticked Kunitz and the Pens were back on the PP. Martin didn’t like the call. The top unit couldn’t get set up in the zone.

 

Third period

Cole had a huge opportunity with the puck on his stick in front of the Sharks’ net. Martin Jones was moving the wrong way but Cole’s backhand shot caught Jones’s blocker side shoulder and deflected just wide of the net.

The refs have clearly been cracking down on interference. Perron went to the box for trying to block Hertl and create space for Malkin.

The Pens had a three-on-one shorthanded rush with Fehr lugging the puck, but it looked like Thornton might have tripped Fehr slightly on his way to the net.

The Sharks added to their lead with another lucky deflection. A shot from the blue line hit Fleury on the blocker and the rebound bounced off Lovejoy and into the net. Just bad luck.

After a big rebound and scoring chance for Crosby, Marleau had a breakaway. Scuderi was able to slow Marleau down and Fleury made the save, but Letang fell down in a heap as he tried to clear the puck away from the net. Letang left the game bleeding from the face.

Burns took a delay of game penalty after clearing a bouncing puck into the seats. The Letang-less powerplay couldn’t accomplish much, then Perron’s stick caught Pavelski’s chin and ended the Pens’ man advantage.

The Pens closed out the game with six attackers for the final three minutes, but they simply couldn’t break through the Sharks’ stalwart defense.