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Stanley Cup Final

Sharks vs. Penguins: Game 2 Live Blog

A blow-by-blow account of the sights and sounds from Consol Energy Center

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final wasn't short on drama and needed overtime to decide a winner. Shawn P. Roarke chronicled the action on and off the ice from Consol Energy Center on Wednesday night:

End of game: Penguins win, 2-1. Conor Sheary with a shot off a faceoff through a screen that surprises goalie Martin Jones.

The series goes to San Jose on Saturday for Game 3 with the Penguins holding a 2-0 lead In this best-of-7 series.

Join us then.

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

Start of first overtime: Both teams have plenty of experience with overtime this postseason, but the Penguins have had the far better results.

Pittsburgh has gone to OT five times so far, winning three games. San Jose has played three overtime games and lost each one, including a three-overtime marathon to the Nashville Predators in the second round.

This the fifth time in the past six years that Game 2 of the Final has gone to overtime

Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang has played the most in Game 2, logging a game-high 26:16. Defenseman Brent Burns leads the Sharks with 23:17.

It also will be interesting because this game has been intensely physical. There have been 77 hits through regulation, 42 by the Sharks. There have also been 30 blocked shots, 16 by San Jose.

Tweet from @PR_NHL: All-time playoff OT records:@penguins: 27-26 (16-16 at home; 3-2 in 2016)@SanJoseSharks: 20-20 (11-11 on road; 0-3 in 2016)#StanleyCup

End of third period: We have overtime for the first time in the Stanley Cup Final as the period ends in a 1-1 tie. Defenseman Justin Braun erased 55 minutes of San Jose frustration with the tying goal on a seeing-eye shot from the point. It was Braun's first goal in 19 games this postseason.

The Sharks were better in the third period of Game 2 and limited the Penguins to just six shots in the third, but the Penguins were sitting back a bit trying to nurse a 1-0 lead to the finish line.

The Sharks finished the period strong and Joel Ward had a great chance with 15 seconds remaining in the period.

Traditionally, the Sharks get stronger as a game goes along this postseason, but the Penguins have looked fresh all night, so it will be interesting to see who has the first extended push of overtime.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Braun tallies off of Couture's feed

15:55 of third period: Oh boy, we have ourselves a game now. Braun just tied the game at 1-1 with a seeing-eye shot from the point that banked off the inside of the post and past Penguins goalie Matt Murray.

The goal came after some great board work by center Logan Couture. It came on San Jose's sixth shot of the period and 17th of the game.

11:51 of third period: Pittsburgh still doesn't have a shot on goal this period, but has come the closest to scoring. Phil Kessel hit the post on a shot that beat goalie Martin Jones.

The Kessel-carl Hagelin-Nick Bonino line has the only goal in this game, by Kessel, and has dominated throughout the series. The crowd here was chanting "HBK" as Kessel hit the post.

They cheered even louder when the scoreboard showed cam Heyward in the crowd. Heyward is a defensive end with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The scoreboard also showed Antonio Brown, the Steelers wide receiver, at the next stoppage.

6:39 of third period: The Sharks just had one of their best chances of the game as Chris Tierney blew past Pittsburgh defender Olli Maata at the blue line and fired a wrist shot that tickled off the glove of Murray and then off the cross bar before bouncing out of play.

It is the third piece of iron the Sharks have hit in Game 2.

On the plus side, the Sharks have held Pittsburgh without a shot in the period.

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

Start of third period: Perhaps the most crucial period of the San Jose Sharks' season awaits in the third period here.

The Sharks trail the best-of-7 series 1-0 and Game 2, 1-0. In the history of the Stanley Cup Final, the visiting team in the first two games has only won a series three of 36 times after losing the first two games.

So, this period will be vital for the Sharks, who do not want to fall into an 0-2 hole in the series.

If they are going to climb back into the game, and the series, their best players will have to be better. Joe Thornton has no shots and just two shot attempts through 40 minutes. Captain Joe Pavelski has one shot, which came on the second-period power play. Logan Couture has no shot attempts. Defenseman Brent Burns has two shots.

End of second period: The Sharks got some life at the end of the period thanks to an ill-advised interference penalty by defenseman Ian Cole in the attacking zone. But the Sharks could not score in the first 75 seconds of the penalty.

They will have 45 seconds left on the power play when the third period starts.

The first shot on the power play was San Jose's first in 11:10 of action in the second period as they have been completely suffocated. They managed just five shots in the period and two came with the late man advantage.

San Jose will need to find a way to put the Penguins under pressure in the third.

While the Sharks have struggled, the Penguins are flying all over the ice, nobody more so than captain Sidney Crosby.

He has been so good that he prompted Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver to tweet that Crosby was the GOAT: the greatest of all time.

Tweet from @AntonioBrown84: My boy Crosby. The ��#game2 #StanleyCupFinal

15:30 of second period: The ice is heavily tilted in Pittsburgh's favor now as they are out-shooting the Sharks 10-3 this period and 21-9 for the game. 

San Jose has not been able to generate shots when it gains the zone and much of the play in the attacking zone is along the perimeter. Murray has not had to deal with many dangerous shots or much traffic in his crease area.

Tweet from @Dave_Stubbs: #Sharks 3 shots vs #Penguins this period, per NHL stats, have come from 103, 48 and 56 feet out #StanleyCupFinal

The Consol Energy Center crowd is responding to the domination by roaring their approval at every defensive stop and offensive foray. It is quite the festive atmosphere for what should be a taut 1-0 game.

8:50 of second period: The wheels are falling off the bus a bit for the Sharks here.

San Jose defenseman Paul Martin is in the penalty box for a high stick on Evgeni Malkin in the offensive zone. The penalty came 30 seconds after Pittsburgh opened the scoring to make it 1-0.

Phil Kessel scored the goal with an easy tap-in, but his linemates, Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino did all the work. Hagelin's aggressive forecheck forced San Jose defenseman Roman Polak to make a bad pass and turn the puck over. Bonino, who scored the game-winner in Game 1, then passed to Kessel for perhaps the easiest of the 10 goals he has scored this postseason.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Kessel opens the scoring in 2nd period

6:39 of second period: The drama continues to build at Consol as the teams race back and forth across the ice.

Pittsburgh's ageless forward Matt Cullen had a spectacular scoring chance that necessitated a diving stop from Jones. Thomas Hertl, who has been noticeable in every one of the five periods played so far, had a wrap-around chance that hit the far post.

Start of second period: Matt Nieto, the new roster addition for the Sharks, played 4:38 in the first period. He had no shots and one hit, but his line was generally effective.

Pittsburgh's Bryan Rust, who was a game-time decision, played 3:25 in the first period and had no shots.

Hertl had two shots and the Sharks best chance in the first period, played 7:22. Defenseman Brent Burns was the top ice getter on the Sharks with 8:24. Pittsburgh forward Phil Kessel had three shots, the most of any skater in the first period.

End of first period: That ends a furious first 20 minutes of hockey here.

Each team has exerted its will on the game at different points, but San Jose has done a far better job of suppressing shots this time around. Pittsburgh has 11 shots in the period and has played much more from the perimeter. The Penguins had the only power play of the first period, but could not generate much.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Jones holds his ground on Hornqvist

The Sharks, meanwhile, had more play in the offensive zone than they did in the first period of Game 1, using a good forecheck, aggressive play at the attacking blue line by their defensemen and a heavy cycle game to make it much harder for Pittsburgh to trigger its transition game.

The Sharks had six shots on goal in the period and need to make more use of their offensive-zone time.

10:40 of first period: The action has been non-stop and the plot lines almost endless. Pittsburgh has found another gear in the past few minutes and generated its two best chances of the period. Center Evgeni Malkin had a shot deflected and it dribbled just past the left post on one opportunity. Shortly thereafter, Chris Kunitz rang his shot of the post. 

Before both those scoring chances, the building got as loud as it has been all night when the scoreboard showed legendary defenseman Paul Coffey in the crowd. He stood and waved his yellow towel to acknowledge the cheers from the crowd.

6:16 of first period: Game 2 has taken on a different personality than Game 1 early on as the play has been much more even that Pittsburgh-dominated first period Monday night.

More than five minutes in, the Penguins only have one shot and far less sustained pressure than in Game 1.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Murray denies Ward, covers puck

The Sharks are far more aggressive on their forecheck and it paid off in a great chance by Joel Ward at 1:48. Murray had to be very sharp to make the save. The Sharks are also making sure to hit the Pittsburgh defenders as they go back to the end boards to get pucks.

8:20 p.m.: Consol Energy Center is boiling over with noise and electricity as the Penguins take the ice to Metallica's "Seek and Destroy" after another incredible pre-game introduction.

As expected, Sidney Crosby was given the loudest ovation when starting lineups were announced. As soon the team was introduced, a deafening "Let's Go Pens" served as a bridge into the singing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" by Jeff Jimerson, who ended the song with the wave of his Terrible Towel.

In additional lineup news, San Jose center Dainius Zubrus was scratched in favor of the returning Matt Nieto.

8:00 p.m.: Warmups just finished and the Penguins announced that Rust will play in Game 2. Rust, who scored the game-opening goal in the Penguins' 3-2 win in Game 1, missed the end of that game on Monday after absorbing a big hit from San Jose forward Patrick Marleau in the third period. Rust was a game-time decision. He has four goals in his past three games and his six postseason goals are the most by a Penguins rookie.

The Sharks have changed their lineup for Game 2, attempting to inject some speed into the forward units. Left wing Matt Nieto is in the lineup after an eight-game absence. He has one goal and two assists in 11 games.

7:45 p.m.: It's another beautiful day in the Steel City. The temperature was in the high-80s during the late afternoon as fans started streaming toward Consol Energy Center for Game 2.

Tweet from @Dave_Stubbs: A few folks have gathered outside Consol Energy Center before #StanleyCupFinal Game 2 #Penguins #SJSharks

The primary area for the viewing party by the 5th Avenue entrance was filled three hours before puck drop with fans soaking up the sun and getting hyped as their heroes looked to try to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

There were more than a few San Jose Sharks fans that tried to infiltrate the proceedings though. There were several fans clad in the teal jerseys of the Sharks around Consol Energy Center. Several wore Ryane Clowe jerseys and one fan dipped way into the history of the Sharks by sporting a No. 32 jersey of goaltender Arturs Irbe.

Before the game, the majority of the Sharks fans gathered by the player entrance to the ice and started a "Let's Go Sharks!" chant. They were quickly drowned out by the Pittsburgh fans, once again clad in the free yellow T-shirts distributed at the entrances to the arena.

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