The Pittsburgh Penguins are Stanley Cup champions, ending the San Jose Sharks’ franchise-best postseason run in heartbreak in the process. This is the fourth title in the Penguins’ history.
Just like Game 5, the Penguins scored their first goal following a Dainius Zubrus penalty. With Zubrus and fellow fourth-liner Nick Spaling caught out against Sidney Crosby, Zubrus committed a tripping penalty, and Pittsburgh responded. Brian Dumoulin’s seeing-eye shot snuck underneath Martin Jones’ blocker, and the Penguins took a 1-0 lead 8:16 into the game.
Shortly after, Melker Karlsson left the game with an apparent knee injury after awkwardly colliding into the boards. The Sharks responded well, but couldn’t capitalize, as Matt Nieto and Joel Ward were denied on breakaways, as Chris Kunitz thwarted the later attempt with an impressive backcheck.
The Penguins controlled play later in the first, when Martin Jones, Game 5 edition, made his first appearance, denying Phil Kessel in close among many acrobatic saves. The rest of the Sharks would show up at the start of the second period, sustaining pressure in the Pittsburgh end.
That pressure culminated in Logan Couture’s NHL-leading 30th point of the postseason, as the center’s shot bounced off of Matt Murray’s pad and trickled through his five hole.
But the tie would not last long. 1:19 later, Pittsburgh regained the lead after Kris Letang capped off a dominant shift with the go-ahead goal. This occurred without Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the ice, as would much of the middle frame. Vlasic missed a long stretch of the second period for undisclosed reasons, but would return with under five minutes to go.
Like every game of the series other than Game 5, the Penguins would enter the third period with a lead. The Sharks, facing potentially their final period of the season, failed to generate much of anything to start the third, as the Penguins aimed to finish off San Jose.
The Sharks could not get a shot on goal on their first power play of the game 5:26 into the third period, and Pittsburgh continued to generate quality chances. Phil Kessel nearly broke free to put the Penguins up by two, but Brent Burns slashed Kessel’s stick away from his hands, and the Sharks faced a shorthanded situation with just over nine minutes left in the third.
Pittsburgh could not capitalize on the power play, but the Sharks could not generate much pressure following the successful kill. Ha;f chances was all the Sharks would generate for the remainder of the game, as the Penguins continued to block the Sharks’ shots from seemingly every angle.
Pete DeBoer would pull Martin Jones with just under two minutes left, but Patric Hornqvist would put the game out of reach with an empty net goal with 1:02 left in regulation.
Sharks goals (assists): Couture (unassisted)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Kris Letang
2) Sidney Crosby
3) Martin Jones