The San Jose Sharks were clearly outplayed for most of Game 2 on Wednesday night, but they managed to force overtime when Justin Braun scored late in regulation.
Unfortunately for San Jose, the extra frame didn’t last very long. Conor Sheary beat Martin Jones at the 2:35 mark of overtime (top) to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead in the series. Sheary’s game-winner came just seconds after Sidney Crosby won an important offensive zone faceoff.
Why does Sharks forward Logan Couture think Crosby is able to win those offensive faceoffs so cleanly?
“He cheats,” said Couture after Game 2, per the Mercury News. “He gets away with that. He’s Sidney Crosby.
“He times them, and yet they don’t kick him out for some reason; probably because of who he is.”
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who was on the ice for the game-winning goal, also believes Crosby could have been kicked out of the dot prior to Sheary’s goal.
“Maybe he should have been kicked out (on the winning goal),” Vlasic said, per Sportsnet. “It took a while to get into the faceoff. But what do I know.”
Crosby’s won just over 52 percent of his faceoffs in the postseason, but there’s no denying that he’s been dominant in that aspect of the game in this series. The Pens captain won 56 percent of his draws in Game 1 and an incredible 71 percent in Game 2.
“I’ve said it on a number of occasions: He’s not as good as he is by accident,” said Pens head coach Mike Sullivan. “He works extremely hard at it. He prides himself in the details of the game, like faceoffs. Because of that, I don’t think it surprises anyone that he’s able to dominate in the faceoff circle or in some of the other aspects of his game.”