The Penguins decide to shake up the forward lines and give Patrick Marleau a chance with Evgeni Malkin. Hey, in this building, why not? Tristan Jarry’s turn in net. And after a tough game last night, Zach Trotman is a healthy scratch and Juuso Riikola draws back in.
The Sharks look a lot faster than LA and Anaheim, that seems to push the Pens back on their heels a bit early. Riikola makes a great outlet pass for Evan Rodrigues to get on a breakaway and he...doesn’t manage a shot on goal. Cool, cool.
Mario Ferraro sends the Pens to the game’s first power play when he trips Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh gets a couple of good looks, including Bryan Rust just skying a puck over the top of an empty net.
San Jose strikes late in the period, Jason Zucker can’t handle a Sidney Crosby pass and Marcus Pettersson was skating to the bench to change. That’s a bad formula with Evander Kane getting a big lane to burst down, deke forehand on Jarry and score. 1-0 SJ.
The pain continues as Patric Hornqvist gets felled by a shot from Jared McCann and leaves the ice hobbled, but he would return for the second period.
Shots on goal in the first are 11-10 San Jose.
Solid shift early by the Teddy Blueger line, who draw a four minute power play when Kane high sticks Chad Ruhwedel enough to draw blood and have two Pens help Ruhwedel off the ice to the locker room.
Unfortunately, Logan Couture gets a short handed break when he chips the puck past Justin Schultz and is off to the races. Jarry stands tall but Couture gets a second chance and Jarry stops him again in a most crucial way. Then the Pens blow the PP when Marleau slashes a Shark in the offensive zone to make it a 4v4. SJ gives it right back when Ferraro high-sticks Crosby.
That leaves 45 seconds of a 4v3 power play for the Pens, so they take a timeout to regroup and get the big boys (and Sid) a breath. They fail to score on it.
After four Pens’ power plays, the Sharks get a go when Brent Burns is tripped. Pittsburgh kills it off, but just after it expires Timo Meier gets the puck with space and blows it by the glove of Jarry to make it 2-0.
The bad times continue, Joel Kellman strikes off the right wing, beating Jarry to the five-hole to make it 3-0.
Marleau hits the post, if not for bad luck no luck at all.
Shots in the second are 11-8 Pittsburgh. Didn’t matter much though.
Dominik Simon blows a shot by Jones’ glove but it hits the post...A bit later Crosby has an open net and the puck doesn’t go in. The Pens are just snakebit right now.
Simon gets pinched along the boards and is in pain, leaves the ice. Right after that, SJ goes up 4-0 when Logan Couture deflects a Ferraro point shot into the net.
Hornqvist roughs up a guy and his leg bends in a way it shouldn’t. So that’s a two minute penalty. Pens kill it.
Just for comedy of errors, Jack Johnson does Jack Johnson things, seeing a puck bounce off his skate on a centering pass and in the net to make it 5-0. Please, Brian Dumoulin get well soon.
Big picture. The Pens are still 20-7-2 vs the West, despite losing all three games in California this week. That’s good! Going 0-for-the-trip against these teams? Not so good. But there’s not a ton of reason to get too worked up in the big picture considering the Pens’ very, very strong western record.
Power play woes continue. 0/4 tonight. 1/17 in the six game losing streak. Not too hard to connect the dots. The Pens aren’t very good at 5v5 these days, they need their power play to strike. It hasn’t lately. Thus, they haven’t won.
Another sneakier than it looked game. The Pens played last night in Anaheim and traveled up to San Jose. The Sharks did not play. Martin Jones had a .938 save% in his last four games and played strong again tonight. Looking beyond the season records, this was yet another pretty sneaky tough game given the situation. You would hope and think the Pens could rise to the occasion, but it wasn’t to be. Probably shouldn’t have been a lose 5-0 game though.
Are we rolling downhill like a snowball headed for hell? No. It’s a hockey game. The sun will rise tomorrow, we will all move on and the Penguins will win a game again. Promise. Lots went wrong, lots it bad, but it’s ok.
Well, the good news is it’s back to the east coast. And some long awaited injury returns might be back for next game. The bad news is the Pens are reeling and don’t have a lot to be confident with and will need to find their