- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Ken Hitchcock has decided that the rest of his coaching life will be spent signing one-year contracts, like the one he’s agreed on with the St. Louis Blues for the 2016-17 season.
And it turns out that his coaching life has one more year left in it: Hitchcock announced on Tuesday that this will be his last season coaching in the NHL.
"I just feel like I've got this really good year in me. This season has invigorated me like no season before,” he said. "This group of players, their dynamic has changed, and it's really exciting right now."
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks will not have a hearing for his hit on Bryan Rust of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, and thus will not be suspended by the Department of Player Safety.
Marleau was given a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head at 4:47 of the third period.
Rust left the game for concussion protocol according to NHL on NBC's Pierre McGuire, then returned to the bench. He played one more shift after that at 8:36 but would not hit the ice again for the rest of the Penguins’ 3-2 win.
"Obviously we lost him for the rest of the period. He's day-to-day with an upper-body injury," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "It's a blindside hit to the head. He gets a penalty. I'm sure the league will look at it."
Marleau, obviously, saw it differently and didn’t think the League would suspend him.
“I don’t think so. I kept my shoulder in and elbow in and everything. I just kinda let him skate into me," he said. “I wanted to keep everything down. Didn’t get too up high.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Harnarayan Singh is the play-by-play voice for Hockey Night In Canada Punjabi, which is thought to be the only regular game coverage of the NHL that’s not in English or French. He’s a national treasure for many reasons, chief among them his creative goal calls. For example, when he somehow worked Nikita Kucherov’s name into the song lyrics of a famous Punjabi song during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s run.
Nick Bonino of the Pittsburgh Penguins is also a favorite of Singh’s. In the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Washington Capitals, the Penguins center scored and Singh just shouted “Bonino, Bonino, Bonino, Bonino, Bonino!” in celebration.
In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Bonino had the game-winning goal with just over two minutes left in regulation against the San Jose Sharks. And Singh didn’t disappoint:
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
(Ed. Note: We're changing things up for the Stanley Cup Finals. Instead of writing Three Stars as we normally do on game night, we'll be handing out some post-game awards.)
First Star: Nick Bonino, Pittsburgh Penguins
With 2:33 to go in the third period and the game tied, Bonino netted the game winning goal. To top it off, he gave the interview of the night with Pierre McGuire. It involved the quote, "... sorry for spitting on you." What a good Connecticut boy!
Best Twitter reaction to Bonino's Goal:
STORM INTO THE PARTY LIKE MY NAME IS BONINO
Worst Star: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks
Okay, he wasn't the 'worst,' but he did experience a night that more difficult than he'd experienced in the first three playoff series. For the first time in the entire 2016 playoff run, he was a minus-2 in a game (take that stat for what it's worth to you). He was tasked primarily with shutting down Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. It was a tough night, and something he's probably going to bounce back from in Game 2.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
PITTSBURGH – The opening period of Game 1 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final was absent of any sort of typical feeling-out process between teams in the first game of a series. The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t wait around to see how the San Jose Sharks would react; they took the game directly to their opponents and it led to a 3-2 victory.
The first period ended with a Penguins shot advantage of 15-4 and a 2-0 lead for the home side thanks to goals 1:02 apart from Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary.
Going right at the Sharks was part of the Penguins’ gameplay. Feeding off a sold out CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh dictated the pace and caught the Sharks flat-footed at times by using their speed.
“It’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. There’s always nerves there,” said Sidney Crosby. “I thought we did a good job of just playing and trying to get to our game. It gave us a big boost to get that kind of start.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
PITTSBURGH – The San Jose Sharks had 2,102 regular-season and playoff games to prepare for their first Stanley Cup Final appearance.
And they weren’t ready.
Defenseman Brent Burns called it the Sharks’ “holy [crap] we’re here’ moment. A first period absolutely dominated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. A first period that saw them control puck possession, shot totals and on the scoreboard, building a 2-0 lead.
“We started so slow. I don’t know if it was the long break. It wasn’t pretty in the first period. Nobody can skate. It was slow for us. We played the whole first period in the D-zone, and that’s not out game,” said forward Tomas Hertl.
The Sharks would rally in the second to tie the game, only to lose late in the third period on a Nick Bonino goal, 3-2. But it was the horrific start and getting skated out of the building in the first 20 minutes that was the talk of the dressing room.
Were they nervous?
“Eh, possibly,” said forward Logan Couture. “They came out flying. We looked like we were stuck in mud. Maybe that was it. But this time of year, the games are too big to have a start like that.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
The San Jose Sharks finally had their feet under them and started to roll against the Pittsburgh Penguins after the first period in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Patrick Marleau’s late second period goal tied the game at 2-2 and San Jose’s early game woes, where they allowed a 2-0 lead, seemed over.
Then early in the third periodMarleau hit Pittsburgh’s Bryan Rust with a shoulder near Rust’s head.
From that point on the Penguins seemed to come alive. Pittsburgh fired 18 shots on goal in the third period to San Jose’s nine shots on goal. The Penguins also took 27 shot attempts to the Sharks' 17.
Pittsburgh’s speed game culminated with Nick Bonino’s game-winning goal with 2:33 left in the third to deliver a 3-2 win and take a 1-0 series lead.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
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PITTSBURGH – Nick Bonino’s goal with 2:33 left in third period gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Kris Letang’s pass form the corner found Bonino in front of Martin Jones (38 saves), and he knocked the puck past the Sharks’ goalie for his fourth of the playoffs at 17:27.
But it wasn’t over yet. Ben Lovejoy took a hooking penalty against Patrick Marleau that gave the best power play in the playoffs a chance to tie the game with Jones pulled. But the Penguins killed it, and skated off to victory.
Pittsburgh took a 1-0 series lead, with Game 2 set for Wednesday.
The Sharks were dominated in the first period by the home team.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead on a goal by one of their Eastern Conference Final heroes, rookie Bryan Rust, his sixth of the playoffs.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
Bryan Rust, who opened the scoring in Game 1 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, left the game in the third period after he was hit in the head by Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks.
With the score tied at two, Rust carried the puck into the Sharks zone and attempted to dump it behind the San Jose defense. As he finished his unsuccessful attempt, Marleau came skating over and delivered a shoulder to the Pittsburgh Penguins forward’s jaw.
Here are two angles via @MyRegularFace:
Marleau minor for hit to the head pic.twitter.com/a19dYmXeTR
another angle pic.twitter.com/3ew6K3W1XV
Marleau was given a minor for a hit to the head, a power play the Sharks ended up killing. Rust would go to the Penguins dressing room for a few minutes, but returned minutes later only to leave again.
Marleau didn't think his hit warranted further punishment. “I don’t think so. I kept my shoulder in and elbow in and everything in,” he said.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
11:05 p.m. ET: And here is the shot attempts chart from War on Ice. As you can tell, the Penguins pulled away at the end, and it showed with their late game-winner.
11:00 p.m. ET: Here is the final boxscore from Pittsburgh's Game 1 win over the Sharks.
10:54 p.m. ET: Game 1 hero Nick Bonino spoke with NHL on NBC's Pierre McGuire on the win.
"We can't expect it to be easy. They're the best team in the West. It's going to be hard every period," he said.
10:53 p.m. ET: The Penguins take Game 1, 3-2. This could be a classic series. What a phenomenal game with back-and-forth action along with drama.
10:51 p.m. ET: The Sharks get a power play almost right after that Bonino goal. Great chance for San Jose.
10:49 p.m. ET: Kris Letang to Nick Bonino in front, perfect shot by Boninio. It's now 3-2 Penguins at the 17:27 mark of the third. Brent Burns broke his stick on the play, which opened up the passing lane.