The San Jose Sharks are in a spot they haven't been all postseason. Down two games to none to the Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose looks to cut the deficit in half in front of their home crowd for the franchise's first ever home game in the Stanley Cup Final.
Home cooking could be just what the Sharks need to tilt this series back even. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan really used last change to his advantage in Pittsburgh, largely keeping Sidney Crosby's line away from Joe Thornton's. Sullivan won't have that luxury as the series shifts to the SAP Center, and the Sharks look to neutralize the Penguins' speed and depth that has caused them headaches all series.
Sharks fans have waited 25 years to see their team play in front of them for a shot at a Stanley Cup, and the Tank will be rocking tonight. If the Sharks can capitalize on their own home-ice advantage, where they've lost just twice this postseason, they can find themselves right back in this series.
Tale Of The Tape
|48-26-8||Regular Season Record||46-30-6|
|2nd in Metropolitan||Regular Season Finish||3rd in Pacific|
|53.1||Regular Season Even Strength, Score-Adj. Fenwick||53.3|
|100.7||Regular Season PDO||100.4|
|18.4||Regular Season PP%||22.5|
|80.5||Regular Season PK%||84.4|
San Jose couldn't take advantage of Justin Braun's late equalizer, as Conor Sheary propelled Pittsburgh to a 2-0 series lead with his game-winner in overtime.
- The Sharks are going to play a home game in the Stanley Cup Final. Regardless of the state of the series, that's pretty cool!
- This is reality, no dream, but reality may not feature Tomas Hertl tonight. Hertl missed yesterday's practice, and is questionable tonight. (UPDATE: He's out.)
Hopefully it's just Pete DeBoer posturing at practice because...
- Patrick Marleau skated on Logan Couture's wing yesterday, which is not a good sign. As I wrote yesterday, if the Sharks are to get back in this series, DeBoer needs to make changes to counter the Penguins' depth. With the exception of the Thornton line, the Sharks have struggled at even strength against just about everyone in this series, and DeBoer needs to recognize that.
- Over/under on the broadcast mentioning that Logan Couture accused Sidney Crosby of cheating in face-offs is set at 5. Everyone cheats at face-offs, but Couture may have called out the Kid as a way to let the officials know without calling him out on the ice, at least according to ex-NHLer Mike Rupp in a piece on the Players Tribune.