Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Penguins beat Sharks in Game 4, on brink of Stanley Cup title

Phil Kessel joins a celebration after assisting on an Ian Coles goal, which gives the Penguins a 1-0 lead early in Game 4 at San Jose. Kessel adds an assist on Evgeni Malkin’s second-period goal, on the power play.

Getty Images

Phil Kessel joins a celebration after assisting on an Ian Coles goal, which gives the Penguins a 1-0 lead early in Game 4 at San Jose. Kessel adds an assist on Evgeni Malkin’s second-period goal, on the power play.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Bounce-back performances from two key players moved the Penguins to the brink of winning the Stanley Cup.

Evgeni Malkin scored his first goal of the series and Matt Murray made 23 saves after a shaky Game 3 to lead the Penguins to a 3-1 victory over the Sharks on Monday night for a 3-1 series lead.

Malkin woke up after being held pointless in the first three games of the series by setting up Ian Cole's goal to open the scoring. He added one of his own on the power play in the second period.

Eric Fehr sealed it with a late goal after San Jose made a strong push in the third.

Two nights after allowing a soft tying goal to Joel Ward, Murray was steady throughout to put the Penguins one win from their fourth Stanley Cup title. They can do it at home Thursday night.

A 3-1 lead hardly guarantees that a series will be won, as the Penguins have discovered in recent seasons.

They built a 3-1 advantage against the Lightning in Round 1 in 2011, only to lose the final three games, and did the same against the Rangers in the second round in 2014, with the same outcome.

It is worth noting, however, that the Penguins have lost two games in a row just once in these playoffs, and have not dropped three in a row since a 0-4-1 skid in mid December.

The Sharks were unable to build on their first win in the final, allowing the first goal for the fourth straight game and going more than nine minutes without a shot on goal during one stretch of the second period. San Jose will need to win in Pittsburgh to give its fans who waited 25 years to watch the Stanley Cup final in the Bay Area another home game.

Melker Karlsson scored for San Jose and Martin Jones made 17 saves.

The story for the Penguins after their 3-2 overtime loss in Game 3 was how to get Malkin going after a slow start to the series. And how would the rookie Murray respond after giving up the soft goal to Ward and the winner to Joonas Donskoi.

Both passed with flying colors.

HERTL OUT AGAIN: Sharks star Tomas Hertl sat out a second straight game, and according to reports he has a knee injury that ended his season. Coach Peter DeBoer had said the forward was day to day. Czech Republic reporter Roman Jedlicka, play-by-play announcer for TV NOVA Sport, tweeted early Monday evening that, according to a "very good" source, Hertl will miss the rest of the final. It is not known how the injury to Hertl occurred or if he will need surgery.

a heavy metal anthem: Game 4 featured a rousing national anthem from Metallica guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, who are Sharks fans. The guitars used in the performance will be autographed and auctioned for charity by the Sharks Foundation. Drummer Lars Ulrich and bass player Robert Trujillo opened the dressing room door to lead the Sharks on the ice.

Penguins 1 1 1 3
Sharks 0 0 1 1

First Period1, Pittsburgh, Cole 1 (Kessel, Malkin), 7:36. PenaltiesVlasic, SJ (interference), 11:37; Lovejoy, Pit (holding the stick), 14:45.

Second Period2, Pittsburgh, Malkin 5 (Kessel, Letang), 2:37 (pp). PenaltiesKarlsson, SJ (interference), 2:28; Rust, Pit (hooking), 17:33.

Third Period3, San Jose, Karlsson 4 (Tierney, Dillon), 8:07. 4, Pittsburgh, Fehr 3 (Hagelin, Maatta), 17:58. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 6-7-7—20. San Jose 8-4-12—24. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 1 of 2; San Jose 0 of 2. GoaliesPittsburgh, Murray 14-5 (24 shots-23 saves). San Jose, Jones 13-9 (20-17). A17,562 (17,562). T2:35. RefereesWes McCauley, Kelly Sutherland. LinesmenBrian Murphy, Pierre Racicot.

Penguins beat Sharks in Game 4, on brink of Stanley Cup title 06/06/16 [Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2016 11:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. New Bucs player murals go up at Raymond James Stadium


    Each summer, it's a sign that training camp is soon to arrive at One Buc Place: the changing of the huge player murals on each corner of Raymond James Stadium.

    Bucs linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander will share a mural on the northeast corner of Raymond James Stadium this season.
  2. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Jordan Spieth, right, comes from one back of Matt Kuchar, left, after 13, going birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-par to win by 3.
  3. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  4. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  5. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)