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. FSU, Gators, USF and Miami all in Athlon preseason top 25


    The college football preseason magazines are trickling in, as our Joey Knight wrote earlier.

  2. Bucs' Jameis Winston rising in fantasy football rankings


    We're still probably three months away from most fantasy football drafts, but it's not too early to appreciate that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has taken a major step up in the rankings entering his third NFL season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is ranking much higher in fantasy football rankings entering his third NFL season.
  3. A new look at the top of women's tennis: It's wide open


    ROME — Asked Sunday if she believed, as the oddsmakers do, that she is the French Open favorite, Simona Halep dissented.

  4. Jake Odorizzi has a winning record for his career when pitching on five days of rest. He’s 12-9 in 34 starts. Pitching on a normal four days of rest, Odorizzi is 15-17 in 34 starts. On six or more days rest he is 6-6 in 18 starts.
  5. Sebastien Bourdais has surgery, likely out for rest of IndyCar season (w/ video)

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais is recovering from pelvis surgery after his car slammed into a barrier, and he is expected to miss the rest of the season.

    Sebastien Bourdais wrecks during Indy 500 qualifying, resulting in fractures in his pelvis and a fractured right hip. He says he appreciates the support and well wishes.