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game recap

Penguins win Game 2 against Sharks in overtime

Sheary scores to give Pittsburgh 2-0 lead in Stanley Cup Final

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

Sheary's game-winning goal in OT

SJS@PIT, Gm2: Sheary wins game off Letang's feed

Cup Final, Gm2: Kris Letang sends a pass to Conor Sheary, who rips his wrist shot into the net to give the Penguins a 2-1 win in overtime

  • 01:31 •

PITTSBURGH -- A set play has set up the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.

Left wing Conor Sheary scored 2:35 into overtime, on a faceoff play diagrammed by center Sidney Crosby, to give the Penguins a 2-1 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"It's surreal," said Sheary, a 23-year-old forward playing in his first NHL playoffs. "Important moment. Most important, we got a win and we're up 2-0 right now. It's a good momentum shift for us."

Home teams have won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final 36 times. Those teams went on to win the series 33 times, but two of the three series losses have been in the past seven years.

Game 3 is at SAP Center in San Jose on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Murray comes up clutch in final minute

Before the winning goal, Crosby told defenseman Kris Letang not to shoot the puck if Crosby won the offensive-zone faceoff back to the point. Instead, he wanted Letang to pass it to Sheary to avoid the aggressive shot-blocking of the Sharks.

Crosby delivered on his part, winning the faceoff clean from San Jose right wing Joel Ward and pulling it back to the blue line. Letang did as instructed and passed to Sheary, who took a wrist shot from just inside the top of the left circle, where the play started, through a screen that eluded goalie Martin Jones.

"I call [24] faceoffs a game, so I got [23] wrong tonight," Crosby said. "It's one of those things; guys have to execute, you have to make the pass. That's exactly what they did.

"Usually the center kind of calls the play, and I think those guys deserve a lot more credit than me."

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Hertl rings the iron three times

It was Sheary's fourth goal of the postseason and his first game-winner.

The undrafted free agent, who signed with the Penguins in July, became the fifth rookie to score an overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Final, and the first do so in 30 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (Brian Skrudland, Montreal Canadiens against Calgary Flames, 1986).

"What separates NHL players from the rest of the world is their ability to continue to bring a consistency of play that comes to be the expectation," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think Conor has learned that. He's not the only one. The young players, I think they all go through that evolution. I think for those reasons, we're seeing him produce the way he's playing right now."

Sheary's goal ended an attempted comeback by the Sharks, who tied the game 1-1 on a goal by defenseman Justin Braun with 4:05 remaining in the third period. Phil Kessel gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 8:20 into the second period.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Braun ties game late on Couture's feed

It was the first goal of the postseason for Braun, who will leave the Sharks on Thursday to attend the funeral of his father-in-law, former NHL player Tom Lysiak, who died Monday.

The Sharks did the hard work necessary along the boards, mainly by Logan Couture and Ward to get the puck to the point for a seeing-eye shot by Braun that nicked the inside of the near post and caromed into the net. It was the only blemish against Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray, who made 21 saves and has allowed three goals in the two games (the Penguins won Game 1, 3-2).

Murray has 13 wins this postseason, two short of the rookie record, which is held by Cam Ward (Carolina Hurricanes, 2006), Ron Hextall (Philadelphia Flyers, 1987), and Patrick Roy (Montreal Canadiens, 1986). Ward and Roy won the Stanley Cup.

San Jose goalie Martin Jones, who said he never saw the game-winning shot by Sheary because of a tangle of players between him and the shooter, made 28 saves.

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

San Jose has lost all four overtime games it has played this postseason.

"There's no trend," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. "In overtime, it can go either way. Just hasn't gone our way. You can turn stats any way you want them."

It's hard to turn the stats in this series in the direction of San Jose after two games.

The Penguins have outshot the Sharks 71-48; shot attempts are 126-107.

The Penguins lost the first two games of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final at the Detroit Red Wings, and the Boston Bruins lost twice at the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, before winning the championship.

The Sharks will try to start a similar comeback in San Jose, where they are 7-2 at SAP Center this postseason.

"We've definitely shown that we can play," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "We've got another level and we're going to have to find it here. It goes to this next game. They've done their job here at home, but we've got to go win the next one."

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

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