Skip to main content
Stanley Cup Final

Instant analysis: Sharks at Penguins, Game 2

Sheary, 'HBK Line' lift Pittsburgh to 2-0 lead in Stanley Cup Final

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in overtime in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday. The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

Conor Sheary scored 2:35 into overtime. Pittsburgh is 4-2 in overtime in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and San Jose is 0-4.

Phil Kessel gave the Penguins the lead 8:20 into the second period with his Pittsburgh-leading 10th goal of the postseason. The Sharks appeared headed for a 1-0 loss until defenseman Justin Braun's shot from the top of the right circle went in off the right post to force overtime with 4:05 left in the third.

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

What we learned: The Penguins a have been the better team through the first two games.

The "HBK Line" of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Kessel continues to be a difference-maker for the Penguins. After producing Bonino's winner in Game 1, they came through again in Game 2 and gave the Sharks defense pair of Brenden Dillon and Roman Polak fits whenever they were on the ice against them.

In the first two periods, the Sharks again had trouble with the Penguins' speed and pressure, repeatedly turning over the puck while trying to break out of their zone and get through the neutral zone. Coach Peter DeBoer's decision to move Joel Ward up to the second line with Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi paid off with Braun's tying goal.

Goaltender Martin Jones remained a bright spot for the Sharks, keeping them close with 28 saves.

What this means for the Sharks: They head back to San Jose for the next two games in a 2-0 hole and desperate for a win. If they don't find some answers soon, this could be a short series.

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

What this means for the Penguins: They've been the better team in the first two games and have earned their 2-0 lead. Teams that have swept the first two games of the Cup Final at home have gone on to win the Stanley Cup 33 out of 36 times.

Key moment: After Sidney Crosby won the faceoff in the left circle back to Kris Letang at the left point, Letang fed Sheary for a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Jones past his catching glove for the first overtime goal of his NHL career.

Unsung player of the game: Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist didn't get on the score sheet but had four shots on goal and led Pittsburgh with six hits, including a big one on Melker Karlsson in the second period and another on Tomas Hertl in the third.

What's next: Game 3 of the best-of-7 series is at SAP Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.