The San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins have played each other 35 times during the regular season since the Sharks entered the NHL in 1991. They'll face each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time when they play Game 1 of the Final at Consol Energy Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).
The Sharks have a slight advantage in regular-season play. They are 18-12-2 with three ties against the Penguins; Pittsburgh is 14-14-4 with three ties. Six of the past 12 games have gone past regulation; San Jose is 1-0 in overtime and 3-2 in shootouts.
The teams played twice in a 10-day span during the regular season, with the road team winning each time. San Jose won 3-1 in Pittsburgh on Nov. 21, but the Penguins defeated the Sharks 5-1 at SAP Center on Dec. 1. That game was notable because it was Pittsburgh's first win in San Jose since Oct. 22, 1997. The Penguins had six wins and a tie in their first seven trips to San Jose, but the Sharks won 11 and tied one in their next 12 home games against Pittsburgh before losing this season.
San Jose center Joe Thornton, who played against Pittsburgh more often before being acquired by the Sharks in a trade with the Boston Bruins on Nov. 30, 2005, has 47 points (15 goals) in 42 career games against Pittsburgh. Patrick Marleau, the longest-tenured Sharks player, has 10 goals and 18 points in 24 games.
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each has played 10 career games against San Jose. Crosby has one goal and six assists. Malkin has three goals and five assists, including a goal and two assists in the win at San Jose in December.
When Sharks coach Peter DeBoer and his staff begin their pre-series preparation, they'll likely be picking the brain of defenseman Paul Martin. The 35-year-old signed with San Jose on July 1 after spending the previous five seasons with Pittsburgh. He's the only player on either team to spend appreciable time with the other.