Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Grinders outshine stars in Cup final

Sharks rookie Joonas Donskoi enjoys his winning goal in OT in Saturday’s Game 3 against Pittsburgh.

Getty Images

Sharks rookie Joonas Donskoi enjoys his winning goal in OT in Saturday’s Game 3 against Pittsburgh.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — This is a Stanley Cup final filled with stars who have won the Hart Trophy, Olympic gold medals and numerous other awards — players such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.

But through three games in the series, those players haven't shown up on the scoring sheet. After three straight one-goal games, two decided in overtime, some lesser-known players have delivered the goals.

"You look through these playoffs and third-line, fourth-line guys have stepped up for both teams and scored big goals," Sharks center Logan Couture said Sunday. "You need that when you get to this point."

Sharks rookie Joonas Donskoi became the latest on that list Saturday when he scored the overtime winner in San Jose's 3-2 victory in Game 3 that cut Pittsburgh's series lead to 2-1. Game 4 is tonight in San Jose.

In Game 2 Penguins rookie Conor Sheary got the winner. Before that, it had been 30 years since a rookie scored in OT in a Cup final — Montreal's Brian Skrudland in Game 2 against Calgary.

Sharks defenseman Justin Braun scored in the past two games, matching his total from the previous 40 contests.

"I'm happy I can finally chip in offensively," he said. "A lot of other guys have done a lot of heavy lifting to get us here."

Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who has 15 goals in 334 regular-season games, scored one of the Penguins' goals in Game 3 and set up the other that was deflected in by Patric Hornqvist. Nick Bonino got the Game 1 winner for Pittsburgh when the other goals were scored by rookies Sheary and Bryan Rust.

"You just try to worry about yourself and make sure you're doing your job and as a team you're doing the things necessary to give yourself a chance to win games," Crosby said. "It's tight."

Note: Sharks forward Tomas Hertl remained day to day with a lower-body injury.

Grinders outshine stars in Cup final 06/05/16 [Last modified: Sunday, June 5, 2016 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays' Blake Snell erasing memories of his poor start

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — As Blake Snell strides up the mound at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night with an 10-game unbeaten streak, doesn't the miserable start to his sophomore season, when he was winless in eight starts and got demoted to Triple-A, seem like a long time ago?

    To him, too.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) in the dugout during the fourth inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  2. Jake Dotchin on rule violation: 'It's hurting me'

    Blogs

    While defenseman Jake Dotchin continues to practice with the Lightning, it's uncertain when - or if - he'll get any preseason action.

    Jake Dotchin violated an unspecified team rule, which is why he hasn't played in the first four games.
  3. PolitiFact: Trump's Mostly False claim that NFL ratings are 'way down'

    Bucs

    The statement

    "NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country."

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings

    Bucs

    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Nine Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations

    Blogs

    Nine Florida Gators face at least 62 potential felony charges on accusations of credit card fraud. 

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.