Monday, January 22, 2018
Sports

Sharks to Pens: Pressure is on you

SAN JOSE, Calif. — No one needs to remind the Sharks about the difficulties of closing out a playoff series, how each missed opportunity can give confidence to the opponent and plant seeds of doubt in the leading team.

Two years after becoming the fourth NHL team to lose a best-of-seven series after winning the first three games, San Jose is trying to pull off a historic comeback of its own in the Stanley Cup final.

The Sharks looks to stave off elimination for a second straight contest and force a decisive seventh game in the final when they host the Penguins in Game 6 tonight.

"The longer it goes, you just feel that pressure, 'You got to get it done, you got to get it done,' " defenseman Justin Braun said. "And when it doesn't happen, it creates a little frustration, and you're like, 'We could have been done with this days ago, and we're still going.' I think that gets in your head a little bit."

That's what happened to San Jose in the first round in 2014 against the Kings and what the Sharks hope the Penguins are feeling after failing to win the Cup on home ice in Game 5 on Thursday.

Despite being outplayed for much of the series — including in Game 5, in which Pittsburgh outshot San Jose 46-21 — the Sharks know the pressure on the Penguins will only increase of they can win at home to force the winner-take-all seventh game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

No team has lost the Stanley Cup final after going up 3-1 since Toronto rallied to beat Detroit in 1942 after losing the first three games of the series. But the Penguins have had problems closing out playoff series in recent years. Since winning their third Stanley Cup in 2009, they have blown series leads three time in the previous six postseasons.

The Penguins have little they want to change from their Game 5 loss other than the start.

After allowing two goals in the first three minutes, Pittsburgh dominated much of the rest of the contest. The Penguins scored twice in 22 seconds to tie the score just a few minutes after San Jose scored its second and controlled the play over the final 58 minutes. Only a stellar performance by San Jose goalie Martin Jones and a somewhat soft goal that Pittsburgh's Matt Murray allowed late in the first period that ended up the winner gave the Sharks the victory.

"While we were pretty good, it wasn't enough," Penguins forward Matt Cullen said. "You can look at good fortune or bad breaks or whatever. It doesn't matter ultimately. The bottom line is we get a second shot at this and we don't want to miss it."

Howe services: The funeral and visitation for Hall of Famer Gordie Howe, who died Friday at age 88, will be open to the public, Howe's son Murray said. Visitation for the longtime Red Wings great known as "Mr. Hockey" is Tuesday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. — a nod to his No. 9 — at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Howe's family plans to greet the public in the arena, where he will lie in state. The funeral service is 11 a.m. Wednesday in Detroit. Howe will be cremated, as was his wife, Colleen, who died in 2009, Murray said.

Comments
Super Bowl LII preview: First look at New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Super Bowl LII preview: First look at New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Remember when the Bills were 3-1 and in first place in the AFC East? And when the Patriots were 2-2 and allowing 32 points per game? Weird, right?The Bills part, yes. The Patriots part, no.New England had done that before. Four other times in the Bil...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

PHILADELPHIA — Confetti filled the air, fireworks erupted overhead, and fans sang "Fly, Eagles Fly!" No one dared head for the exits. There was too much to celebrate.The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.The makeshift podium hadn’t taken space on Ph...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Updated: 6 hours ago
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sports in brief

Sports in brief

hockeyU.s. men’s olympic Gm, key program builder dies suddenlyLongtime USA Hockey executive and U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team general manager Jim Johannson died unexpectedly Sunday at age 53, shocking the sport less than three weeks before the start...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Healthy Keys back in Aussie quarters

Healthy Keys back in Aussie quarters

MELBOURNE, Australia — Madison Keys continued her strong run through the Australian Open draw, returning to the quarterfinals here for the first time in three years with today’s 6-3, 6-2 win over Caroline Garcia.The U.S. Open finalist is yet to drop ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballNorth Carolina at Virginia Tech7 p.m.ESPNOhio State at Maryland7 p.m.ESPN2Iowa State at Texas7 p.m.ESPNUMaryland at Indiana7 p.m.FS1Holy Cross at American7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: LSU at Texas A&M7 p.m.SECNebraska at Ohio State8 p.m.Bi...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Golden Knights are giving Vegas a great odds-beating story in their first year.The expansion team has the whole league playing catchup.James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault scored to help Vegas beat the Hurricanes 5-1 on Sunday and...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Greased poles don’t ward off Philly fans

PHILADELPHIA — Thousands of Eagles fans took to the streets to celebrate after their team’s 38-7 win over the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles will be playing in their first Super Bowl since they lost to this year’s AFC champions the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago