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Pens lay the smack down on Sharks in shootout

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San Jose's playoff hopes hang by an even tighter string now after falling 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a shootout. The Sharks had their chance to win, but failed to convert on a power play to end the overtime period.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into this game, both teams were dealing with banged up bluelines. The Sharks were without Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Mirco MuellerTaylor Fedun make his San Jose debut. The Penguins meanwhile only dressed five defenseman and were only expected to dress 17 skaters, but…

"BAH GAWD! That’s David Perron’s music!"

David Perron unexpectedly returned to the Pittsburgh lineup from injury, giving the Penguins and unconventional 13 forwards and five defenseman.

Pittsburgh seemed to control the play relatively well early on, and scored back-to-back goals just 56 seconds apart. The first one came on a Patric Hornqvist backhand assisted by former Shark Daniel Winnik and Ian Cole. The second goal from the Pens was scored on the power play by Chris Kunitz. It was a very nice pass from Sid "The Heartbreak Kid" Crosby.

San Jose did put on a good push later and ended up leading 12-9 in shots and 22-20 in shot attempts during the first frame. They’d carry this momentum into the second period.

Ben Smith was able to get the Sharks up on the board with a tip-in goal 6:44 into the second. Justin Braun and Barclay Goodrow had the assists. Then, 15:38 into the second, Brent Burns earned his 40th assist on a nice lead pass to Patrick Marleau. Marleau handed it off to Logan Couture who fired it past Marc-Andre Fleury to tie the game at 2-2.

Neither team scored in the third period, but things seemed to get pretty chippy down on the ice. Add another wrestling reference here. With time ticking down, Perron found a pass from Sidney Crosby and ripped a shot that would have crossed the line in time. He threw it just wide though to send the game to overtime.

Early in the overtime, Hornqvist missed a stick-lift on Brent Burns and was called on an accidental but undeniable high sticking penalty. It drew blood, putting the Sharks on the man-advantage for all of the 3:49 remaining in overtime.

Thornton hit the post early on the ensuing power play, and Burns nearly had a chance in the waning seconds of the overtime, but missed wide. The Sharks had a few good chances, but the Penguins penalty kill was better.

In the shootout, Perron and Crosby scored for Pittsburgh while Melker Karlsson missed and Couture hit the post. The Penguins officially get the 3-2 victory.

  • Shots finished up 33-32 in favor of Pittsburgh, while shot attempts went 66-53 to the Sharks.
  • San Jose gets one point from the effort. With Calgary winning, the Sharks are 6 points behind Calgary for a playoff spot with 6 games left. Winnipeg is 7 points ahead for the last wild card spot.
  • Conversely, the Sharks currently would have the 10th pick in the draft, but are only one point ahead of the Avalanche for 9th and one point behind Dallas for 11th.
  • One of the linesmen left the ice in the first period on an apparent injury. I kept expecting Steve Downie to take advantage and pull out a steel chair while the remaining referees were busy elsewhere.
  • Broadcaster Brian Engblom was hit in the face with a puck in the second period and got stitches before returning for the third. Good thing the announce table wasn’t down at rinkside, John Scott probably would have chokeslammed someone through it.

FTF 3 Strs

1st star: Patric Hornqvist

2nd star: Logan Couture

3rd star: David Perron