Thoughts, musings, and observations from the Penguins 4-0 loss against the Sharks at PPG Paints Arena.
* This was an ugly game for the Pens. Everything and everyone was seemed off. Passes were behind or intercepted. Shots misfired. There was a lot of confusion on defensive zone coverage. And it seemed every bounce that could go their way, didn't.
It was just one of those games where everything went against Pittsburgh.
To their credit, the Pens played pretty well in the second and third period after having a tough opening frame. However, moral victories won't help in the standings at this time of the year.
* Three plays really sum up the night for Pittsburgh.
On the first, the Pens were killing a power play when they found a streaking Matt Cullen for a possible breakaway. Note the word possible. Cullen seemed to corral the bouncing puck, but then as he skated toward the net the puck skidded off his stick and behind him to avert his chance.
On the second, Phil Kessel stole a puck and skated through the slot. But the puck began to bounce on him. He got caught at the side of the net and ran out of room, so he tried a between-the-legs backhand pass. The puck glided harmlessly to goaltender Martin Jones.
In the third period, Justin Schultz found Kessel alone at the opposite side of the net for an easy tap in. The puck missed his stick, hit his skates and slid behind the net.
Again, it was just that kind of night.
* There was a line brawl with five minutes left in the game, and Sidney Crosby was at the center of it. All players had come together when San Jose's Brenden Dillon took a swing from behind at Marcus Pettersson, who was already engaged with another Shark. Crosby jumped to his teammates defense and started punching Dillon. Then all hell broke loose. You don't like to see Crosby get into those types of situations, but it was nice to see him get involved to defend a teammate.
* Special teams made all the difference in this game. The Sharks used the power of 2 power-play goals and a shorthanded tally to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. It was a lead that would never relinquish. San Jose would finished with a third power-play goal, giving them 4 special teams strikes. Every goal it scored.
* The Pens surrendered their 13th shorthanded goal against of the season when Evander Kane sneaked in on a breakaway. This has been an issue all year long. The team has addressed it a lot, but still hasn't found a way to course correct.