The Pittsburgh Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals, beating the San Jose Sharks 2-1 with a Conor Sheary overtime goal.
The Sharks did a better job this time of slowing down the pace and limiting the shots the Penguins took on goal (30-22), but once again it felt that for at least two periods, they were helpless to stop the Penguins from getting quality chances and only Marin Jones standing in the way. Even if it was difficult to get the two game lead, twice needing late goals to finish the job, the Penguins are a huge step closer to winning the fourth cup in franchise history.
Phil Kessel finally arrived in the series with his 10th goal of the postseason, scoring after 8:20 in the second period. The Kessel, Bonino (game 1 winner scorer) and Hagelin are the most dangerous line the Penguins have presented in the playoffs, and it worked again and Bonino slipped a pass to Kessel to finish. The puck was heading to the net, but Kessel gave it just enough of a nudge to make it count.
The Sharks had a good third period, and with 4:05 left in regulation, Justin Braun scored his first goal of the postseason, not letting the death of his father-in-law, Tom Lysiack (Former Blackhawks and Flames player), affect him on the ice. His shot was perfect, coming from the top of the right circle, going under Matt Murray’s glove, hitting the post and going past the line. It gave the Sharks something to smile about, but it didn’t last very long.
What now for San Jose? Maybe home ice will change the momentum of this series, but overall, it feels like holding out defensively just isn’t enough for them. Taking control of the game for more than half a period has to be on their top of the to-do list. The Penguins might not be taking advantage of all their chances, but it’s their kind of hockey in this series, and eventually, it’ll be difficult for the Sharks to stand in their way completely.