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Stanley Cup Final

'The Wall' gave Zatkoff good vibes about Game 2

Penguins goalie shares how he saw positive signs before win against Sharks in blog for

by Jeff Zatkoff / Special to

Pittsburgh Penguins third-string goalie Jeff Zatkoff will be keeping his own blog throughout the course of the Stanley Cup Final. Zatkoff will check in after games and on some of the off days between games.

Here is Zatkoff's blog following the Penguins' 2-1 overtime win in Game 2 on Wednesday:

PITTSBURGH -- I had a good feeling about Game 2. It was all about "The Wall" in sewer ball.

OK, let me explain, because you're probably wondering what I'm talking about.

Sewer ball is the soccer game we play before games, before practices, before morning skates. The game is all of us kicking the ball up and trying to keep it going, but the last person that touches the ball before it hits the ground is out. We call it sewer ball because you're trying to sewer someone. You can kick it so it hits them and it goes down and then they're out of the game.

And so it's Nick Bonino, Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz and myself; we're an alliance in sewer ball. We call ourselves "The Wall." We like to pick on Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist and Tom Kuhnhackl, particularly Hornqvist and Kuhnhackl because they're European and they think they're sweet at soccer.

Everyone always tries to go after us, but we're a team. It's like going after [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, Neymar and [Wayne] Rooney. That's how we see it, at least.

It's the four of us and we try to get guys out, and they all try to come at us. It's an individual game, but not for us four. If one of us wins, we feel like we all win.

And we had a good amount of wins Wednesday, and that usually translates into on-ice success. I knew that we'd come out flying because of it. I was looking for a read, a sign. Hey, go with it.

Video: Sheary's overtime goal gives Pens 2-0 series lead

So in typical Penguins fashion we jumped out to the lead, but I thought Martin Jones was great for the San Jose Sharks all night. We used our speed, did what we wanted to do, and he kept it to one goal.

We knew the Sharks were going to push. They weren't happy with how they played in Game 1. We were happy with how we played, but they're a great team. Both teams want to establish their type of game and whoever can enforce that the longest is going to win the game. And I thought we played a great game.

We defended really well throughout the whole game and they found a way to get one late in regulation, which can be a little bit deflating. But just like it's gone all year, we found a way to respond. That's why our group has been so good. We regroup in the intermission, come back out and get it done. That goes to show the character of the guys that we have in the room.

Conor Sheary, I mean, what else can you say about him? He's stepping up, scoring big goals.

And Kris Letang, what an unreal pass by him.

And Crosby, all night he was great on the draws.

This is a big one for us. It's only two, but it's nice to protect your home ice. Now we go there and it should make for a better flight coming off a 'W'.

So now I'll get to play some cards on the flight with Phil Kessel, Chris Kunitz and Bonino. It's a long one so we'll have lots of time to hustle Phil. He thinks he's a player, but I think the guys in Toronto let him win because he hasn't won much this year.

Phil talks a big game. He's the No. 4 ranked player at the table out of four. This should be a great flight.

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