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Penguins, Sharks set to begin Stanley Cup Final

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PENGUINS, SHARKS FACE OFF IN GAME 1 OF STANLEY CUP FINAL

The Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks open the 2016 Stanley Cup Final when they face off in Game 1 at Consol Energy Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

This marks the first all-time Stanley Cup Playoff matchup between the Penguins and Sharks; they split their two games during the regular season with each team winning on the road. The Sharks, however, are 17-3-3 in their past 23 regular-season games against the Penguins since April 1, 1998 (PIT: 5-13-5).

The Penguins are making their fifth appearance in the Stanley Cup Final and are vying for their fourth championship, following wins in 1991, 1992 and 2009. The Sharks, who joined the NHL in 1991-92, are playing in the first Stanley Cup Final in their history.

TALE OF THE TAPE
A closer look at how the Penguins and Sharks match up (minimum 1 GP in playoffs):
 
Average Height
PIT: 6'1", SJS: 6'2"
 
Average Weight
PIT: 197 lbs., SJS: 207 lbs.
 
Average Age
PIT: 27.8, SJS: 29.2
 
Birthplaces
PIT: Canada (9), USA (9), Sweden (3), Finland (1), Germany (1), Russia (1)
SJS: Canada (11), USA (5), Czech Republic (2), Finland (1), Lithuania (1), Sweden (1)
 
TEAM RANKINGS: 2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
A snapshot of how the Penguins and Sharks have fared thus far in the postseason:
 
Goals For (Per Game)
PIT: 2nd (3.22), SJS: 1st (3.50)
 
Goals Against (Per Game)
PIT: 6th (2.39), SJS: 3rd (2.28)
 
Power Play
PIT: 6th (23.4%), SJS: 2nd (27.0%)
 
Penalty Kill
PIT: 5th (83.6%), SJS: 7th (80.4%)
 
Shots on Goal (Per Game)
PIT: 3rd (35.1), SJS: 11th (28.0)
 
Shots Against (Per Game)
PIT: 9th (29.7), SJS: 2nd (27.1)
 
Blocked Shots (Per Game)
PIT: 7th (16.4), SJS: 3rd (20.6)

Face-Off Winning Percentage
PIT: 8th (50.0%), SJS: 16th (46.8%)
 
DID YOU KNOW?
There will be a new Stanley Cup champion for the 17th consecutive season. The last team to repeat: the Detroit Red Wings in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
 
TOP PROSPECTS DESCEND ON BUFFALO FOR NHL COMBINE

Top prospects Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Jesse Puljujarvi, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Matthew Tkachuk and Alexander Nylander are among the 114 draft-eligible players expected to attend the 2016 NHL Combine, which runs through Saturday at First Niagara Center and HarborCenter in Buffalo.

The week includes one-on-one interviews with NHL teams, medical examinations and fitness testing.

Click here for a list of expected attendees.

SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
San Jose @ Pittsburgh, Game 1, 8 p.m., NBC, CBC, TVA Sports
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