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Stanley Cup Final

Instant analysis: Sharks at Penguins, Game 1

Pittsburgh takes series opener on Bonino's late goal

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on Monday.

Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary scored 1:02 apart in the first period to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. The Sharks got back in game with Tomas Hertl's power-play goal 3:02 into the second period and tied it on Patrick Marleau's wraparound with 1:48 left in the second.

Nick Bonino scored with 2:33 remaining for what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm1: Bonino nets a late lead in 3rd

What we learned: In the first period, the Penguins' speed and pressure gave the Sharks the same kind of trouble it gave the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and New York Rangers before them in first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Sharks repeatedly turned the puck over when they tried to come up ice, resulting in counterattack scoring chances and offensive zone pressure for the Penguins.

The Sharks adjusted and turned the tables some on the Penguins in the second period. Pittsburgh learned it has to stay out of the penalty box against the Sharks power play, which converted on its first chance of the series to start their comeback.

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (38 saves) responded well to a heavier workload against the Penguins.

What this means for the Penguins: After the Sharks pushed back in the second period, the Penguins got back to their game and were able to pull out the victory. Teams that won Game 1 in the Cup Final have gone on to win the series 78 percent of the time since best-of-7 format was adopted in 1939.

What this means for the Sharks: Although they were able to battle back after a sluggish first period to tie the game, San Jose still came up short. Now that the Sharks have seen the Penguins' speed at its best, they'll need to play better for 60 minutes (or more) in Game 2.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm1: Marleau beats Murray, ties game in 2nd

Key moment: Sharks defenseman Paul Martin was caught napping in front when Bonino scored the winning goal. Kris Letang's pass out of the right corner set up Bonino in front for a shot past Jones' blocker and inside the left post.

Unsung player of the game: Pittsburgh's Tom Kuhnhackl made the most of his limited ice time. The fourth-line forward took 15 shifts and played 8:56 but had five hits and blocked three shots.

What's next: Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is here on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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