Team teal will have to go through the Sidney Crosby and the Penguins to achieve their goal after Pittsburgh won the East last night.
The matchup is set.
Pittsburgh will hold home-ice advantage in the Cup Finals with Game 1 set for Monday night at 5:0 p.m. PST inside the Consol Energy Center.
This should be a fascinating matchup featuring some of the most high-skilled hockey players on the planet. It starts up front where San Jose will be led by the likes of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau.
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Meanwhile, Pittsburgh counters with a deadly trio of their own in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel.
Here’s a breakdown of the schedule now that the opponent has been finalized:
Game 1: Sharks @ Penguins, Monday, May 30th, 5:00 p.m. PST, NBC, Consol Energy Center
Game 2: Sharks @ Penguins, Wednesday, June 1st, 5:00 p.m. PST, NBC, Consol Energy Center
Game 3: Sharks vs. Penguins, Saturday, June 4th, 5:00 p.m. PST, NBC, SAP Center
Game 4: Sharks vs. Penguins, Monday, June 6th, 5:00 p.m. PST, NBC, SAP Center
Game 5: Sharks @ Penguins, Thursday, June 9th, 5:00 p.m. PST, NBC, Consol Energy Center
Game 6: Sharks vs. Penguins, Sunday, June 12th, 5:00 p.m. PST, NBC, SAP Center
Game 7: Sharks @ Penguins, Wednesday, June 15th, 5:00 p.m. PST, NBC, Consol Energy Center
One thing that immediately comes to mind when thinking about this series is speed. The Penguins possess that in each one of their lines, while the Sharks proved they can play fast when they get going.
There will be an adjustment period coming from the bruising style the Blues like to play, but San Jose should be well-equipped to handle what Pittsburgh throws at them.
This won’t be a low-scoring series either as this will feature the top two scoring teams in these playoffs. Team teal leads the way with 3.50 goals per game (63 in 18 contests), while the Pens are second at 3.22 (58 in 18 games).
Also, San Jose’s power play has an advantage in this series with a 27 percent success rate, while Pittsburgh is not too far behind at 23.4 percent.
On defense, the Sharks have been slightly stingier, allowing two fewer goals than the Penguins in thus far, but Pittsburgh does boast the better penalty-killing unit at 83.6 percent compared to San Jose at 80.4 percent.
It won’t be an easy task for team teal as the Penguins have been really good on home ice throughout these playoffs with a 7-3 record, while the Sharks, the best road team during the regular season, have gone 5-5 on the road thus far.
San Jose has been waiting 25 years for this opportunity and it will all get started on Monday night as the Sharks will have to go through one of the greatest players in the world if they want to hoist the Stanley Cup.