Penguins edge Sharks 3-2 in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

If not for goaltender Martin Jones, it could have been a lot worse.

“They played their game for longer stretches than we did tonight and that’s what happens”, San Jose head coach Pete DeBoer said. Can you imagine how insane Buffalo would be if we won?

If not for Jones, who finished with 38 saves, the deficit might have been greater after one.

Rust, a 24-year-old rookie, has scored four goals over Pittsburgh’s last three playoff games, including one in the first period Monday night. Murray had been leaning toward his left and couldn’t move across quickly enough after Marleau carried the puck behind the net and tucked it inside the other post. But it was a good performance for us.

“It was just the first game, we can look at video and be ready for the next game”.

“It’s two good teams”, Burns said. After getting skated around for the entire first period, the Sharks showed they can go stride for stride with the Eastern Conference champions.

“I thought when we played our game in the second, they had trouble with us”.

The Penguins, seeking their first National Hockey League championship since 2009, will try to stretch their lead in the best-of-seven series when they host game two on Wednesday, before the series shifts to San Jose. The Sharks are 5-1 following a loss during the postseason. The NHL schedule will be released on either June 21 or 22.

The Penguins dialed up their game in the third period and put plenty of pressure on Martin Jones throughout. He only had one assist, but that dramatically understates his game.

In that way the Penguins were Blackhawks East – a large chunk of their salary cap was devoted to a few star players, with little room for error to surround them with a quality supporting cast. We did a good job of handling it. The more you shoot, the more likely some’ll get through.

To recap the game briefly, Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary scored goals within minutes of each other to start the game off strong for the Pens. Rust was examined on the bench and returned to the ice for one more shift, but he then exited the game and did not return.

“He is day-to-day with an upper-body injury”, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after his team’s 3-2 victory.

Rust was injured in the third period when he took a viscous elbow to his head, courtesy of Patrick Marleau. There was plenty of talk about staying out of the penalty box.

Indeed, it was the Penguins’ start that overwhelmed the Sharks in the early going. But he got it up and past Jones, and the Penguins were able to survive and take Game 1.

Rookie goalie Matt Murray – who like Rust and Sheary were in the minors part of the season – made the lead stand up even though the Sharks were on the power play for most of the final two minutes.

San Jose looked slow and was put on its heels against a Pittsburgh team that came out flying in the first period. I won’t pretend to know the exact x’s and o’s of Peter DeBoer’s gameplan, but I’m pretty sure allowing 41 shots didn’t factor into it. Like we saw in the last series against Tampa, it’s hard for goalies to stop all those shots. They always say you can’t buy happiness, and while that’s mostly true, you REALLY can’t buy the right to lift the Stanley Cup above your head. “He does whatever is best for the team”. The Sharks are trying to become the third California team to win the Stanley Cup in 10 seasons, joining the Anaheim Ducks (2007) and Los Angeles Kings (2012, 2014). “I think Torts is a lightning rod, a lot of organizations wouldn’t give him a shot”. “But I think if we play our game and execute and play the way we can, we can play with them”, he said. Eventually, after Logan Couture won a battle for the puck in the corner, Burns got it back on his tape and fired from the point.

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