Penguins vs Sharks Preview and Free Pick – Stanley Cup Game 3

Pittsburgh (2-0) at San Jose (0-2)
When: Saturday, June 4th 2016
Where: SAP Center, San Jose, CA
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports

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The Pittsburgh Penguins look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead against the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Finals when the two teams meet on Saturday night. San Jose was the best road team in the NHL this season, but lost a couple of heart-breaking one-goal games in Pittsburgh and now must win both of their games at home to stay in this series. San Jose has won seven of their nine Playoff games at SAP Center after finishing just 18-20-3 during the regular season. Martin Jones has stopped 66-of-71 shots in the first two games and has two shutouts at home during this postseason. One day after claiming that Sidney Crosby cheats in the faceoff circle, Logan Couture did his best to quiet the stir by including a lot more people on that list. “Everyone cheats on face-offs,” Couture told reporters on Friday. “I cheat, Jumbo (teammate Joe Thornton) cheats. That’s how you try to win draws. (Crosby’s) one of the best at it. He wins a lot of face-offs.” Couture has won four of seven draws versus Crosby, but San Jose has struggled in the circle by winning just 46.7% of face-offs this postseason.


Rookie Conor Sheary’s overtime goal on Wednesday gave the Penguins a 2-0 series lead and fellow first-year player Matt Murray has turned aside 45-of-48 shots in the final to raise his playoff win total to 13. He now sits just two shy of the rookie record shared by Montreal’s Patrick Roy (1986), Philadelphia’s Ron Hextall (1987) and Carolina’s Cam Ward (2006). The line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel has been putting on a show this postseason with 50 points (19 goals, 31 assists) in 20 games. Kessel scored for the fifth time in eight games when he recorded his team-leading 10th goal and 19th point in Game 2. Bonino collected his club-best 13th assist for his second point in the final and Hagelin has set up a goal in each contest versus the Sharks. Pittsburgh has outshot its opponent in 11 consecutive games, including a decisive 71-48 margin over San Jose in the first two games of this series.

I really thought San Jose would get one in Pittsburgh, and they played pretty well despite being outshot by a ton. They’ve been scoring a bunch of goals at home this postseason and I think they get the win tonight to keep this series interesting.

Pick: Sharks -140