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Stanley Cup Final

Stats: Couture vs. Bonino, Game 2

Penguins forward gets assist on first goal; Sharks center helps tie game late in third period

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Nick Bonino of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks traded primary assists to help get Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center into overtime Wednesday.

Bonino wound up winning the head-to-head battle, though, because his team won the game 2-1 on Conor Sheary's overtime winner at 2:35.

Couture was on the ice for Sheary's goal.

"We scored to tie it up, we did something," Couture said. "I thought we created some chances there in the last couple minutes to give ourselves a chance to win. Unfortunately, it didn't find a way in the back of the net."

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 2-0. Game 3 is Saturday at SAP Center in San Jose (8:00 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Bonino and Couture saw plenty of each other in Game 2 as it was clearly a matchup that Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan wanted to try to exploit.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Kessel opens scoring after turnover

They were on the ice together for 7:16 of even-strength ice time, more than any other even-strength ice time they played against any other forward, according to War-on-Ice.com.

Couture was on the ice when Penguins right wing Phil Kessel scored off of a Bonino pass at 8:20 of the second period.

Bonino was on the ice when Couture dug the puck out from behind the net and sent it around and up the wall to set up Sharks defenseman Justin Braun for a shot that got past Penguins goalie Matt Murray to tie the game 1-1 with 4:05 remaining in regulation.

"It's an offspeed shot, missed the block, [stinks] to see that one go in," Bonino said.

However, Couture was also on the ice when Sheary scored. He came out to pressure Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and had the puck go past him when Letang passed to Sheary to set up the winning goal.

"Really glad [Sheary] bailed us out there," Bonino said.

Here is a look at the in-game head-to-head stats between Bonino and Couture:

Goals: Bonino 0, Couture 0

Assists: Bonino 1, Couture 1

Points: Bonino 1, Couture 1

Ice time: Bonino 19:09; Couture 19:50

Key intangible stat: Bonino had three takeaways and four blocked shots, including one on Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic at 15:45 of the second period that seemed to sting Bonino and had him limping to the bench, though he didn't miss a shift.

Couture had three hits.

Best moment: Bonino's patience paid off to set up Kessel for the go-ahead goal in the second period. He might have had the goal if Kessel didn't knock the puck in. It started with a flubbed pass from Sharks defenseman Roman Polak that was broken up by Kessel. Defenseman Brenden Dillon got the puck, but Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin stripped the puck away from him and found Bonino cutting back in through the middle of the zone. Bonino got the puck and waited for Jones to commit to him before attempting the pass to Kessel. Polak dove back into the play and tried to break up the pass with his stick, but the puck ricocheted off his stick and went toward the goal. Kessel, alone at the right post, tapped it in to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

Couture's work to win a puck battle against Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin was one of the reasons why the Sharks tied the game 1-1 at 15:55 of the third period. He got position on Dumoulin and was able to move the puck up the boards to Braun above the top of the right circle. Couture immediately went to the net and Braun's knuckling shot went through the traffic and in.

Series stat line (goals-assists-points): Bonino 1-1-2; Couture 0-2-2

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