Penguins take 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final. Details and more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.
TRIBLIVE.COM: A key faceoff win by Sidney Crosby led to Conor Sheary’s overtime goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in Game 2 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, taking a 2-0 series lead. The Penguins’ Phil Kessel opened the scoring in the second period, but Sharks blueliner Justin Braun tied it with a late third-period goal to force overtime.
Following the game, Sharks center Logan Couture and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic accused Crosby of cheating in the faceoff circle, suggesting officials let him get away with it because of who he is. Penguins winger Bryan Rust, who left Game 1 after absorbing a hit to the head from Sharks winger Patrick Marleau, was in the lineup for Game 2.
THE MERCURY NEWS: Drew Remenda believes the Sharks aren’t moving the puck quickly enough and are being outnumbered in battles for the puck. He also cites the Sharks continuing to struggle against the Penguins speed and having difficulty containing Pens captain Sidney Crosby. Mark Purdy hopes that the series shifting to San Jose for Games 3 and 4 can provide the Sharks with a lift.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Games 1 and 2 have only been close on the scoreboard. In five out of six periods, the Penguins dominated the Sharks. If not for the solid play of goalie Martin Jones, both games would’ve been lopsided victories for the Pens.
Couture’s comments prompted NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes to point out the Sharks have bigger concerns than whether Crosby cheats in the faceoff circle. TSN’s Craig Button suggests Couture’s comments are sour grapes, noting he went three-for-three in draws against Crosby in Game 2. Officials could keep a closer watch on Crosby in the faceoff circle going forward in this series, but they could also keep an eye on Couture.
TSN: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Grant Clitsome announced his retirement because of a nagging back injury. He last played in 2014-15 and missed all but 32 games in 2013-14 because of the ailment. “Clitsome played seven seasons in the NHL for Columbus and Winnipeg, totalling 15 goals, 56 assists and 98 penalty minutes over 205 games.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Clitsome in his future endeavours.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators re-signed forward Cody Bass to a two-year, two-way NHL contract. “Bass will make $575,000 at the NHL level next season and $650,000 in 2017-18. He will make $150,000 at the American Hockey League level in both years.”
STLTODAY.COM: Blues assistant coach Kirk Muller informed the club he is leaving the team after being offered a one-year contract extension.
CLICKON DETROIT: Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos and his three elder sons are engaged in a legal battle over more than $100 million.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks released their 2016 preseason schedule.
REDWINGS.COM: So did the Red Wings. And speaking of the Wings…
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings fans should prepare for a big hike in ticket prices in their club’s new arena, particularly in the lower-bowl seating areas.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers are set to unveil their new uniforms and logos today.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s a sneak peek at what the new logo will supposedly look like.
NBC SPORTS: The NHLPA is meeting this week in Chicago. Atop the agenda is a discussion on the salary cap for the upcoming season. Key to that will be a decision to vote on its annual five-percent escalator clause.
CSNNE.COM: Former NHL player Dan LaCouture is facing assault charges following an incident with a woman that took place on Cape Cod last weekend.