San Jose does not seem to be the Penguins favorite place. They lost their 12th straight game there Monday night, 2-1 in a shootout. They haven’t won there since 1997.
Tommy Wingels scored in the eighth round of the shootout and Antti Niemi stopped Steve Downie to give the Sharks the win. Niemi played amazingly, saving 39 of 40 shots in regulation and stopping seven of eight shooters in the shootout round.
In the third round of the shootout, Melker Karlsson of the Sharks beat Marc-Andre Fleury to give San Jose the lead, but Penguins defenseman Kris Letang extended the game by putting it past Niemi.
The Sharks’ Matt Nieto scored in the first period to give San Jose the lead. That lasted until 7:22 of the second period, when Sidney Crosby somehow backhanded the puck past Niemi to knot the game at one.
The tie lasted all the way through overtime as both goalies stood strong. Fleury had 29 saves, but the difference in the game ended up being Wingels’s goal.
Pittsburgh has had obvious struggles in the shootout recently. Despite having some of the best scorers in the game, they have been unable to win games in the SO. The Pens’ leader in shootouts is Crosby, who has just four. They have lost 10 games in overtime or a shootout, so that is something that the Pens need to improve on.
The Sharks are now within one point of the Los Angeles Kings for third in the Pacific Division.
This was the final game of a four game west coast road trip for the Penguins. They face Edmonton at home on March 12th.
San Jose plays the same day as Pittsburgh against Nashville at home in their next game.