Mistakes in Second Period Cost Sharks in Loss to Penguins

The San Jose Sharks winning streak came to a halt on Thursday, where they lost to the Pittsburg Penguins 5-1 at the Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins scored four goals in the second period, three of which were assisted by Sidney Crosby. It was Crosby’s 500th game with the NHL, and he was on fire. While he did not get a goal of his own, he continuously opened plays and created goal scoring opportunities. The first of which occurred 27 seconds into the second period. Crosby sent the puck to San Francisco native, Brooks Orpik. Orpik shot the puck into Shark’s crease, where Pascal Dupuis got the deflection to give the Penguins their first goal.

Jason Megna scored the second goal for the Penguins at 2:07 in the second. Megna’s goal came when he took advantage of an odd numbered rush, where he was able to wrist it past Sharks’ goaltender, Antti Niemi.

Dupuis left the game about three minutes after with a injury. The type of injury, as well as severity of it, has not yet been released.

Kris Kunitz furthered the Penguins’ lead by scoring backhand off a rebound from Crosby’s shot at 5:27 in the second. The Penguins led by three less than six minutes into the second period. The Sharks were unable to change the momentum of the game into their favor. Their offense continued to struggle when John McCarthy took a two minute penalty for hooking shortly after Kunitz scored. Kunitz got a power play goal for McCarthy’s penalty. His slap shot was set up by James Neal and Crosby, his third assist of the night.

Now trailing 4-0 just passed seven minutes in the second, the Sharks still had time to pull together. If anything, they had more than half of the second and entire third period to tie the game and push it into overtime. Unfortunately for the Sharks, this did not happen. They were able to get on the scoreboard with one goal by Tomas Hertl. Hertl got his 14th goal of the year from an assist by his captain, Joe Thornton, with about 10 and half minutes left of play in the second.

Niemi did not return to the ice after letting four goals in out of 27 shots, while on the other side of the ice, the Sharks got one goal out of the 24 they had in the second. Alex Stallock replaced Niemi at the start of the third.

Penguins’ defenseman, Kris Letang responded to Hertl’s goal with a slap shot at 3:30 of the second. This was the final goal of the game, where the Penguins won 5-1 from a strong second period effort.

While the first period remained scoreless, Sharks’ forward, Tyler Kennedy, demonstrated his strength against his old team. Kennedy played six seasons with Pittsburg. Kennedy hit Orpik early in the first, and sent him to the ice shortly after Orpik had lowered his shoulder on Kennedy. They continued to play aggressively against each other, Orpik getting two more hits on Kennedy in the first.

The Penguins got their fifth straight win, while the Sharks current winning streak of 6-0 came to an end.

The Sharks have two more games on the road before returning to play on home ice at the SAP Center. They face the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow at four, and then move on to play Minnesota Wild on Sunday.