Sharks

Sharks

Series schedule

Game 1: Monday, May 30, Sharks @ Penguins, 5 p.m.
Game 2: Wednesday, June 1, Sharks @ Penguins, 5 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday, June 4, Penguins @ Sharks, 5 p.m.
Game 4: Monday, June 6, Penguins @ Sharks, 5 p.m.
*Game 5: Thursday, June 9, Sharks @ Penguins, 5 p.m.
*Game 6: Sunday, June 12, Penguins @ Sharks, 5 p.m.
*Game 7: Wednesday, June 15, Sharks @ Penguins, 5 p.m.

*if necessary

Conference Final recap

Sharks: Despite dropping the first game of the series in St. Louis, the Sharks got past the Blues in six games in the Western Conference Final. San Jose moved on to its first Stanley Cup Final in the 25-year history of the franchise, beating the Kings in five games and Predators in seven games in the first and second rounds, respectively.

Penguins: It took seven games for Pittsburgh to defeat the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final, erasing a 3-2 series deficit to move on to its fifth-ever Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins, who beat the Rangers in the first round and President's Trophy-winning Capitals in the second, are looking for their first championship since 2009.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Joel Ward. The first-year Shark has contributed five goals and 11 points in the playoffs, and has scored two goals in each of the last two games. Only two players in the last 25 years have three straight multi-goal playoff games: Mario Lemieux in 1992 and Joe Pavelski in 2010. Ward has 46 points in 71 career playoff games, an average of 0.65 points-per-game, up from 0.44 points-per-game in his regular season career.

 

[KURZ: Sharks have 'really come together' in making first-ever Final]

Penguins: Phil Kessel. The scoring winger leads the Penguins in goals (9) and points (18), while playing on the so-called “HBK” line with Nick Bonino and Carl Hagelin. In 33 games together, including the playoffs, the trio has combined for 88 points. Kessel has four goals in the last six games, while six of his nine playoff goals have come at home.

Probable lines

Sharks
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Melker Karlsson – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Dainius Zubrus – Nick Spaling – Tommy Wingels

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Roman Polak

Martin Jones (starter)
James Reimer

Penguins
Conor Sheary – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin – Nick Bonino – Phil Kessel
Chris Kunitz – Evgeni Malkin – Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl – Matt Cullen – Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin – Kris Letang
Olli Maatta – Ben Lovejoy
Ian Cole – Justin Schultz

Matt Murray (starter)
Marc-Andre Fleury

Playoff vitals

Sharks
Goals per game: 3.50
Goals-against per game: 2.28
Power play: 27.0 percent
Penalty kill: 80.4 percent

Penguins
Goals per game: 3.22
Goals-against per game: 2.39
Power play: 23.4 percent
Penalty kill: 83.6 percent

Injuries

Sharks: Matt Nieto (upper body) is questionable.

Penguins: Trevor Daley (broken ankle) is out.

Sharks playoff record when…

The Sharks are 12-6 when winning the first game of a playoff series, and 5-11 when losing Game 1.

They are 18-16 in all-time in Game 1’s, including 2-1 this season.

Facts and figures

*The Penguins went 33-16-5 under Mike Sullivan after hiring him on December 12. The Sharks finished 32-16-5 in that same span.

*Joe Thornton and Sidney Crosby each had 66 points after Dec. 12, leading the league.

*San Jose is 5-4 on the road; Pittsburgh is 7-3 at home.

*The Sharks failed to score a power play goal in four of six games against St. Louis. The Penguins allowed just two power play goals to the Lightning in seven games last round.

*Joe Pavelski has a seven-game point streak (5g, 5a). Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz have five-game point streaks.

Quotable

"Sidney Crosby does everything well. In [our] first three rounds, put all their top players together and that would be Crosby. It’s going to be a lot harder, but a lot more fun." – Marc-Edouard Vlasic