by Jake DeLuca
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins looked to avenge a heartbreaking game 3 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks. At the end of a wild back-and-forth third period, the Penguins came out on top to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.
One of the keys to winning a road playoff game is to silence a deafening home crowd, and it didn’t take the Penguins long to do just that. Ian Cole was in the right place at the right time when he corralled a rebound off a shot from Phil Kessel to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead with 12:24 left in the first period. Evgeni Malkin was credited with an assist on the play, and he wasn’t done there.
In the Second period Malkin scored his first goal of the Stanley Cup Finals with assists from Kessel and Kris Letang. This gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead with 17:23 remaining in the second period.
The Sharks however were not ready to roll belly up. With 11:53 left in the third and final period, Melker Karlson re-energizes the crowd at the SAP Center, now at 2-1, San Jose is right back in the game.
For the next several minutes the Sharks and Penguins went shot for shot, and for a while it looked like the Sharks may tie the game and send the teams to overtime for the third time in as many games. However Eric Fehr had different plans netting the dagger, to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead with 2:02 remaining in the third period.
The Penguins were able to hold on to the lead behind rookie goaltender Matt Murray, who is now 5-0 following a loss in the playoffs. The Penguins have a chance to win the Stanley Cup at home, Thursday at 8:00PM on NBC.