Pittsburgh Penguins Eric Fehr (16) blocks a shot by San Jose Sharks Brenden Dillon (4) as the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the San Jose Sharks in game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, June 4, 2016. (sfbay.ca/)
Plus -- Feeling the Lovejoy
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy had appeared in 388 NHL games entering Game 3 on Saturday night in San Jose. That total counts regular season and playoff games over an eight-year career in which he collected eight two-point games. After his performance in the Penguins 3-2 overtime loss to the Sharks he now has nine, as he scored an unassisted first period goal and assisted on Patric Hornqvist’s second period marker. Both goals were the result of his quickly getting shots back to the Sharks net. He is always looking to put pucks on goal and into traffic and he’s getting rewarded for it. He finished the game with two points, two shots on goal, four blocked shots, one takeaway and a plus-two rating over 26:02 minutes of ice time.
Minus – Failure to capitalize
The Penguins got a power play very early in the first period when Joel Ward was whistled for high-sticking Conor Sheary just 2:58 minutes into the game. They lost the initial faceoff and the Sharks sent the puck deep into the Penguins’ zone. From there, they spent the next 1:30 trying to get into the Shark’s zone. Once they finally established possession in the zone, they weren’t able to generate much of anything. They moved the puck around a bit and put just one shot on goal. They have now gone 0-for-6 on the power play in the series and 1-for-17 dating back to Game 5 against the Lightning.
Plus – Shot Finnish-er
Olli Maatta has looked a lot more like himself since returning to the lineup late in the Eastern Conference Final and his shot blocking skills shined on Saturday night. He blocked six shots through regulation, added an assist and posted a plus-2 rating. He put three shots on goal and had one hit. It wasn’t all roses -- he was also credited with three giveaways.
Minus – Too many blocks
The Penguins blocked 36 shots through regulation and two more in overtime. Some might say that is great work by a five-man unit keeping pucks from getting to their goaltender. That is true to an extent, but it also tells a different story -- the Penguins were penned up in their own zone for long stretches of time. Players and teams that block a ton of shots aren’t playing in the offensive zone often. It is still a great number, but it’s a deceptive one.
Minus – Struggling below the goal line
For all the great work that Matt Murray did during Game 3, he was stung for two goals that he’d likely want another crack at. The first came at 8:48 of the third period when he was forced to face a Joel Ward shot off the rush after his teammates bungled a play at the other end of the ice, but he saw the shot and it went right through him. Then came overtime, where he was spectacular, until Joonas Donskoi carried the puck out from behind the net, created a shooting angle and fired a shot short side over Murray’s shoulder. It was very reminiscent of goals that beat him earlier in the playoffs, specifically one scored by Justin Williams of the Capitals. He needs to stay his feet and hug his post in those situations; unfortunately, he’s concerned about the wrap around attempt and stays squat and low. The Sharks will be looking for that play moving forward, as well as continuing to fire towards his glove hand, which might be a second or two slow in getting up on shots.