After 25 years, the Sharks finally have their Stanley Cup Final game under their belts. Their first Stanley Cup Final win will have to wait until at least Wednesday, however, as tonight's comeback attempt fell short in the third period of Game One.
San Jose overcame a poor first period to tie the game at 2–2 after 40 minutes, but the Penguins retook the lead late in the third on a Nick Bonino goal and held on to take the series opener in Pittsburgh.
After going down 2–0 in the first period, the Sharks finally got going in the second. They got their first chance on the power play when Ian Cole hooked Melker Karlsson 74 seconds into the period, and Tomas Hertl scored their first-ever Stanley Cup Final goal on a shot from the side of the net. Joonas Donskoi and Brent Burns got the assists on the play, but Joel Ward deserves credit for keeping the play alive at the blue line before Hertl made it 2–1.
Patrick Marleau tied the game at 2–2 with less than two minutes left in the second, beating Matt Murray with a beautiful wraparound attempt for his 65th goal in 166 career playoff games. Murray stopped the initial shot from Burns before Marleau carried the rebound behind the net and poked the puck past Murray before the Penguins goaltender could get his right pad across.
Nick Bonino put the Penguins back on top late in the third, beating Martin Jones with Pittsburgh's 41st shot of the game.
Before Hertl and Marleau got things going in the second, the Sharks' first taste of Stanley Cup Final action didn't get off to such a hot start. Pittsburgh completely took over the first period after San Jose killed a high-sticking minor to Dainius Zubrus, taking 14 of the next 18 shot attempts and scoring twice in a 1:02 span.
Eastern Conference Final Game 7 hero Bryan Rust banged a rebound past Jones to get the Penguins on the board, then Conor Sheary made it 2–0 off an incredible pass from Sidney Crosby. Jones had a big period despite the two goals against, keeping the possibility of a comeback alive heading into the first intermission.
Sharks goals (assists): Tomas Hertl (Joonas Donskoi, Brent Burns), Patrick Marleau (Brent Burns, Logan Couture)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Nick Bonino
2) Sidney Crosby
3) Patrick Marleau