Morning Free Association: Stanley Cup Final Game Five

Penguins fans gathered in bulk to watch what they thought would be a Stanley Cup victory on Thursday night.

The storylines before the game include:

  • an absurdly huge crowd outside the stadium, prompting the Penguins to put up a 2nd video screen. The scene looks reminiscent of playoffs in Vancouver or Toronto

  • Phil Kessel seems like the obvious choice for Conn Smythe if the Pens close out the series tonight, but Matt Murray is getting just as much attention from the potential voters
  • And of course, one of our memories

First Period:

Unlike previous games in this series, the first period was “where it’s at” tonight. Brent Burns scores 1:04 into the period on the very first shot of game.

Logan Couture scores 1:49 later on a deflection from a pass from along the boards

Dainius Zubrus goes to the box (puck over glass) to the cheer of the crowd at Consol Center. SCOOORE! By Phil Kessel with a beautiful cross-ice pass to Evgeni Malkin, who bangs it in off a defender Justin Braun‘s skate. It’s now 2-1.

22 seconds pass, and, ….

Score! Nick Bonino off Carl Hagelin and into the net. (Off a turnover by Brenden Dillon) It’s a tie game, 2-2.

A 2nd power play (Burns high stick) results in 2 or 3 posts but no scores.

After the 1st 3 shots of the game (all San Jose), the Pens dominate play with 11 SOG to 1 by the Sharks.

With about 5 minutes left, Dillon does something right, passes to Couture who slips it with a nifty backhand pass back to Melker Karlsson who snaps a shot off the bottom of Matt Murray‘s glove through traffic. 3-2, Sharks.

This prompts the following Wysh comment:

Murray did not look so great in the 1st period.

Second Period:

The 2nd starts out much less frenetic and a bit more even. The penalties don’t go the Pen’s way this time.
First, this boarding by Roman Polak gets missed by no-one anywhere, except for the guys who count.

Then they get caught for too many men on the ice. (But that one is really their own fault). They successfully kill that penalty.

Halfway through the period, the Penguins start to assert themselves, dominating shots on goal and crashing the net and making Martin Jones scramble on several occasions. They would get 11 SOG to 2 for the Sharks in the last 10 minutes of the period.
Pens lead on shots on goal with 32 to 15 after 40 minutes. Other stats are fairly even, but Sharks have not gotten much attacking zone time.

Third Period:

Sharks get some pressure, but Penguins are better overall. Martin Jones keeps the score unchanged. He would make 14 stops this period.

In the last 2 minutes of the period, the Penguins go empty net and immediately regret it. Joe Thornton feeds Joe Pavelski in the slot to make it 4-2.

With 3 seconds left, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Sidney Crosby get into some rough play, and each will get… to play game 6 on Sunday.

Sharks win 4-2, Penguins still lead the series 3-2.

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