Penguins have taken away ‘time and space’ for the Sharks’ best players


After finishing the Western Conference Final with a bang — four goals and five points in the final three games of that series versus the St. Louis Blues — Joe Pavelski has yet to record a point for the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Sharks trail in the series 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, with Game 3 in San Jose on Saturday.

Pavelski, who has a league-leading 13 goals in the post-season and entered the final as the favorite to win the Conn Smythe, has only three shots on goal so far in this series.

But his line, with Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl, has been strong in terms of puck possession, with positive Corsi For ratings between the three of them in each game.

The trio has combined for 11 shots on goal versus the Penguins. With the Stanley Cup on the line, however, only Hertl has scored — a power play goal in the second period of Game 1.

“I think they’ve done a good job of taking away our time and space, particularly of our better players. I think everyone tries to do that to the other team. So I think you have to give them some credit for that,” Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer told reporters on Thursday.

“I also think there’s some things we can do better as a group. We’ll regroup here, have a good practice tomorrow, try and get fixed.”

In both games, the Penguins have held the advantage in shots on goal and puck possession. Yet the margin of victory for Pittsburgh has been one goal in each game.

“We’re not getting enough shots through,” said Logan Couture, as per the San Jose Mercury News.

“There are things that worked in the first couple rounds to get us here, and we’re trying to force things. We need to be better in their end offensively creating scoring chances.”

Related: DeBoer vows Sharks will be a ‘tough team to beat at home’