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About the Sharks - Game 2 - 06-01-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Sharks.

When and where: 8:10 p.m., EDT.  Consol Energy Center.

TV: NBC Sports, CBC.

Leading postseason scorer: Center Logan Couture, 25 points (8 goals, 17 assists).

Last Game: 3-2 road loss to the Penguins in Game 1 Monday. Goaltender Martin Jones (right) made 38 saves for the Sharks.

Probable goaltenders: Matt Murray (12-4, 2.20 GAA, .924 SV%) for the Penguins. Jones (12-7, 2.17 GAA, .919 SV%) for the Sharks.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right winger Tom Kuhnhackl (left foot/ankle) is probable. Right winger Bryan Rust (suspected head injury) is questionable. Defenseman Trevor Daley (broken left ankle) is out. Right winger Pascal Dupuis (blood clots), center Kevin Porter (right ankle) and left winger Scott Wilson (right ankle or foot) are on injured reserve. For the Sharks, left winger Matt Nieto (undisclosed) is probable. Defenseman Matt Tennyson ("upper body") is questionable.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins had an optional morning skate. Consider this a guess at their lines and pairings:

43 Conor Sheary - 87 Sidney Crosby - 72 Patric Hornqvist
62 Carl Hagelin - 13 Nick Bonino - 81 Phil Kessel
 14 Chris Kunitz 71 Evgeni Malkin - 17 Bryan Rust
34 Tom Kuhnhackl - 7 Matt Cullen - 16 Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin - 58 Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - 12 Ben Lovejoy
28 Ian Cole - 4 Justin Schultz

-The Sharks had an optional morning skate. Consider this a guess at their lines and pairings:

48 Tomas Hertl – 19 Joe Thornton – 8 Joe Pavelski
12 Patrick Marleau – 39 Logan Couture – 27 Joonas Donskoi
68 Melker Karlsson – 50 Chris Tierney – 42 Joel Ward
83 Matt Nieto – 16 Nick Spaling – 57 Tommy Wingels

44 Marc-Edouard Vlasic – 61 Justin Braun
7 Paul Martin – 88 Brent Burns
4 Brenden Dillon – 46 Roman Polak

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Sharks, this happened:

-Rust participated in today's optional skate. He described himself as a game-time decision.

-Sharks left winger Matt Nieto is expected to replace center Dainius Zubrus in the lineup.

-The referees are (No. 13) Dan O'Halloran and (No. 11) Kelly Sutherland. The stand-by referee is (No. 4) Wes McCauley. The linesmen are (No. 65) Pierre Racicot and (No. 75) Derek Amell. The stand-by lineseman is (No. 93) Brian Murphy.

(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

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Empty Netter Assists - Rust's status uncertain - 06-01-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Sharks

-Right winger Bryan Rust's (above) status for Game 2 is unknown due to an "upper-body" injury. He was hit in the head portion of his "upper-body" in Game 1 by Sharks left winger Patrick Marleau.

-“What makes their power play so successful is their ability to get pucks to the net and create havoc, net-front. [Burns] has a great shot, one of the best in the league, and his ability to get it through [is important].” - Defenseman Ian Cole on the Sharks' power play.

-“His speed automatically pushes guys back. On top of that, he can hold on to the puck. If he needs to create some time and space, he can hold on to it and delay and allow guys to help him out. That’s important.” - Center Sidney Crosby on left winger Conor Sheary.

-"Everything about him is about how he creates a competitive advantage for himself. Watching it every day I've grown to have more respect and more admiration for the type of effort he's put in to be the best player in the world." - Head coach Mike Sullivan on Crosby.

-“If you force those guys to stop and play in their [defensive] zone they can’t roll through the D-zone and gain speed. So, force them to stop and defend and use their energy in their defensive end.” - Sharks center Logan Couture.

-Speed has been showcased thus far in this series.

-“It’s different here, with the position I have. With Carolina I oversaw the business and the hockey side, the whole operation. Looking back, I do not know how I did that. Here, the focus is just on hockey. There’s not as much on your plate. You can appreciate it a little more.” - General manager Jim Rutherford comparing his current role to his role with the Carolina Hurricanes.

-The Sharks are 0-10 all time when they go down 2-0 in a series.

-Sharks left winger Matt Nieto is ready to return from an undisclosed injury.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Playoff Stuff

-Former Penguins left winger Dan Lacouture pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he assaulted a woman at a house in Centerville on Saturday.

-Happy 54th birthday to former Penguins all-star defenseman Paul Coffey (right). Acquired early in the 1987-88 season along with left wingers Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp in a deal which sent defensemen Moe Mantha, Jr., Chris Joseph left winger Craig Simpson, center Dave Hannan, to the Oilers, Coffey spent parts of five highly productive seasons with the Penguins. Coffey immediately paid dividends for the Penguins that season as he appeared in 46 games and recorded 67 points. The following season in 1989-90, Coffey's first full campaign with the Penguins, he played in 75 games and established marks which are still franchise records for defensemen in goals (30), assists (83) and points  (113). He also helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in seven years and netted 15 points in 11 playoff games. In 1989-90, Coffey's points "fell" to 103 in 80 games. During 1990-91, with Mario Lemieux missing most of the season due to a back ailment, Coffey steered a young team to its first division championship by recording 93 points in 76 games. Despite missing 12 postseason games due to a jaw injury, Coffey recorded 11 points in 12 contests and helped the Penguins claim their first Stanley Cup title. After scoring 64 points in 54 games in 1991-92, Coffey was traded to the Kings at the trade deadline in exchange for defensemen Brian Benning, Jeff Chychrun and a first-round pick. After retiring in the 2001 offseason, Coffey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. In 331 regular season games with the Penguins, Coffey scored 440 points, the most in franchise history among defensemen and 11th-most overall. In 23 postseason games, he scored 26 points. Coffey was selected to the all-star game in all five of his seasons with the Penguins.

-Today would've been the 67th birthday of former Penguins goaltender Michel Plasse. Acquired midway through the 1974-75 season in a deal which sent goaltender Denis Herron and defenseman Jean-Guy Lagace to the Kansas City Scouts, Plasse spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 20 games during 1974-75, Plasse went 9-5-4 with a 4.00 goals against average. The 1975-76 season was his only full campaign in Pittsburgh as he played in 55 games and had a 24-19-10 record with a 3.45 goals against average and two shutouts. In the 1976 offseason, he was transferred to the Colorado Rockies along with right winger Simon Nolet and defenseman Colin Campbell as compensation for the Penguins re-signing Herron. In 75 games with the Penguins, Plasse had a record of 33-24-14, a goals against average of 3.59, a .889 save percentage and two shutouts. He died Dec. 30, 2006.

-Happy 50th birthday to former Penguins center Dan Quinn (right). Acquired early in the 1986-87 season in a deal which sent center Mike Bullard to the Flames, Quinn spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. Quinn produced immediately for the Penguins in his first season in Pittsburgh as he recorded 71 points in 64 games. During 1987-88, Quinn appeared in 70 games and netted 79 points. The 1988-89 season saw him record a career high 94 points in 79 games and helped the Penguins reach the postseason. In 11 postseason games that spring, he scored nine points. After only scoring 29 points in 41 games in 1989-90, Quinn was dealt midway through the season to the Canucks along with left winger Dave Capuano and right winger Andrew McBain in exchange for defenseman Rod Buskas, center Barry Pederson and right winger Tony Tanti. After bouncing around with the Canucks, Blues, Flyers, North Stars, Senators and Kings, Quinn returned to the Penguins as a free agent in the 1996 offseason as a free agent. He recorded three assists in 16 games. He retired after being released in November. In 270 regular season games with the Penguins, Quinn scored 270 points, 26th-most in franchise history.

-Former Penguins right winger Matt D'Agostini has joined HC Ambrì-Piotta of Switzerland's NLA.

-Former Penguins center Mark Arcobello has joined Bern in the NLA.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Hurricanes hired former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson as head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

Central Division

-After is one-year contract extension was announced, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock revealed will retire after 2016-17.

-Blues assistant coach Brad Shaw will not be returning.

Smythe Division

-Former Islanders forward Rhett Rakhshani and former Stars/Red Wings forward Fabian Brunnstrom have joined the Malmö Redhawks of Swedens' SHL.

-Former Maple Leafs forward Brandon Kozun has joined SKA St. Petersburg of Russia's KHL.

-Nearly a decade after he left the NHL, former Capitals enforcer/forward Stephen Peat struggles to take care of himself.

(Photos: Matt Freed/Post-Gazette and Penguins Hockey Cards)

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20160601 Playoff Beard

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