Sunday, May 27, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

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

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.

Penguins1113
Sharks0011

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.

Comments
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Published: 05/25/18
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Published: 05/24/18
Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

Fight off the frustration, Lightning, and donít panic

TAMPA — Don't change a thing.Don't blow it up. Don't fire anyone. Don't overreact.Thursday was not an easy day in Lightning Land. It was the day after the end of a season that ended much too soon. It was a day when bags were packed, questions w...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

TAMPA — Not surprisingly, several Lightning players went through the playoffs with what general manager Steve Yzerman called "significant injuries."He would not elaborate Thursday on who they were, though he said that information will be made p...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

TAMPA — Lightning fans were heading for the exits with three minutes remaining in Tampa Bay's 4-0 loss to Washington Wednesday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Understandable given the disappointment of not reaching the Stanley C...
Published: 05/24/18
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Published: 05/24/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

The Lightning will miss out on the Stanley Cup final after being shut out by the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team during the regular season but failed to score in almost all of the final eigh...
Published: 05/24/18
Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightningís Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Published: 05/24/18
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18