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game recap

Matt Murray, Penguins shut out Sharks

Sidney Crosby scores two goals in Pittsburgh's first game at SAP Center since Game 6 of Stanley Cup Final

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Matt Murray had a 32-save shutout, Sidney Crosby scored two goals for the second straight game, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-0 at SAP Center on Saturday.

The Penguins played in San Jose for the first time since beating the Sharks 3-1 June 12 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final to win the championship.

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Sharks highlights

 

Forwards Chris Kunitz, Eric Fehr and Nick Bonino also scored for Pittsburgh (8-2-2). Forward Carl Hagelin had three assists.

"We're making strides," coach Mike Sullivan said. "We're starting to find our game more consistently."

Martin Jones allowed three goals on seven shots for the Sharks (6-6-0), who lost their third straight game. Jones was replaced by Aaron Dell 13 seconds into the second period following Crosby's second goal.

"We weren't strong enough, we didn't battle hard enough," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "To a man, everyone on this team knows they have another level to give right now. Obviously it's a letdown. We're all disappointed in here. There was a little buzz in the building, and it's too bad we let our fans down tonight."

Video: PIT@SJS: Fehr snipes one top corner from the circle

Crosby, who missed Pittsburgh's first six games with a concussion, leads the NHL with eight goals in six games. He had two goals against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday in a 3-2 overtime loss.

"I feel good," Crosby said. "Tonight you see you get a couple of good bounces. When that's happening, you're just trying to keep shooting the puck and trust that it will go in."

Murray made his second start in three games after missing Pittsburgh's first six games with a broken right hand. He improved to 2-0-0 with his second career shutout.

Kunitz scored on a snap shot from the left circle at 4:22 of the first period. With 1:32 left in the first, Crosby made it 2-0, scoring from close range.

At the start of the second period Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic skated back for a loose puck in front of San Jose's crease and tried to clear it, but a hustling Crosby intercepted the pass and beat Jones with a wrist shot.

Dell gave up a goal at 2:33 to Fehr, who put a wrist shot from the right circle into the upper-right corner. Bonino made it 5-0 with a short-handed goal at 16:28 of the second.

Video: PIT@SJS: Bonino bats puck in out of midair for SHG

 

Goal of the game

Skating left to right in the first period, Crosby took the puck through the low crease, cut below the goal line and sent a backhand shot that banked off Jones' right skate into the net. "I was hoping it would catch a piece of him," Crosby said. "Fortunately enough it caught enough of his skate to bounce back the other way."

Video: PIT@SJS: Crosby banks one in off Jones

 

Save of the game

The Sharks were on a power play in the second period when Murray faced a 3-on-1 rush. Forward Logan Couture sent a shot from the left circle, aiming for the 5-hole, but Murray closed his pads and smothered the puck.

Video: PIT@SJS: Murray shuts the door on Couture in the 2nd

 

Unsung moment of the game

Kunitz got the Penguins off to a fast start with a snap shot from the left circle that hit Jones' glove and deflected into the upper-right corner. Kunitz skated past Sharks defenseman David Schlemko near the blue line, took a short pass from Evgeni Malkin and elevated a shot over defenseman Brent Burns, who dove in front of him hoping to block a low shot.

Video: PIT@SJS: Kunitz goes top shelf on Jones

 

Highlight of the game

Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead with a goal he called "fluky" but few would be able to duplicate. As Vlasic tracked down the puck in front of San Jose's net and tried to send it off the sideboards, Crosby intercepted and knocked it past Jones, all in one swing of his stick. "I haven't scored like that before," Crosby said. "The puck laid flat. Just kind of good timing with everything that happened."

Video: PIT@SJS: Crosby puts second of the night past Jones

 

They said it

"Sid has been unbelievable. He's the best player in the world, and he's playing hard, winning battles and getting the puck." -- Penguins forward Carl Hagelin

 

"That's the best team in the League, the defending champions, so I think you're seeing that they're playing at that level." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer

 

"There were a lot of bouncing pucks tonight and they're good at getting their stick on [them]. It was a pretty good challenge." -- Penguins goaltender Matt Murray

 

Video: PIT@SJS: Burns rocks out on the bench

 

Need to know

Penguins forward Conor Sheary returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an eye injury. He had two assists and two blocked shots in 11:58 of ice time. ... Sharks fourth-line left wing Matt Nieto was in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous five games.

 

What's next

Penguins: Home against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SNW, ROOT, NHL.TV)

Sharks: At the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Murray shuts out Sharks, Crosby nets two in 5-0 win

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