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The Wheels Come Off: Penguins Drown in San Jose 5-0

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. San Jose Sharks Evander Kane

The Pittsburgh Penguins started well but got progressively worse as the San Jose Sharks kept converting chances when the Penguins could not. The Penguins lost their season-high sixth straight game as San Jose winger Evander Kane had two points (1g, 1a), and the Penguins concluded their four-game road trip without a point as San Jose drowned the Penguins 5-0 at the SAP Center on Saturday night.

The first period was back-and-forth, though San Jose nearly doubled the Penguins shot attempts in the first period (18-10) and had 80% of the high-danger scoring chances. Late in the first period, the San Jose pressure paid off when the Penguins top line turned over the puck at the offensive blue line. The resulting transition sprung San Jose winger Evander Kane on a breakaway. Kane (22) deked Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry to the forehand for the first goal of the game.

The Penguins have allowed the first goal of the game in six straight games. Things got worse, too.

“We need to get back home and try to understand it’s not easy to win,” Evgeni Malkin said. “It doesn’t matter who we play.”

Early in the second period, the teams began trading power plays with undisciplined infractions. Neither team converted, until midway through the second period. Moments after a tripping call on Marcus Pettersson expires, San Jose quickly moved the puck around the Penguins pressure.

Timo Meier (21) was alone in the right-wing circle, and he glided towards Jarry and sneaked a wrister through Jarry’s five-hole.

Later in the period, the Penguins season-long losing streak got a little bit darker. After defenseman Jack Johnson missed the net, San Jose used the shot, which nearly carried out of the zone for a quick transition. Joel Kellman (3) was open behind the play, and he snapped it past Jarry for a 3-0 San Jose lead before the second intermission.

The Penguins sixth straight loss seemed assured.

Despite a hard Penguins push in the third period, which included yet another hit goal post, San Jose earned the next goal, too. Kane knocked Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz off the puck, and Logan Couture (16) deflected Mario Ferraro’s point shot.

“If there was ever a time, it is now,” said Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins were 0-for-4 on the power play. They were 1-for-5 on Friday against Anaheim. Jarry was burned by high-danger scoring chances, though a couple of the markers were stoppable, just as the chances were preventable.

Late in the third period, Joe Thornton (5) added a little more salt in the Penguins wounds with a late goal, which was deflected into the Penguins net by Johnson.

Notes: The Pittsburgh Penguins are now only five points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for the final playoff spot. Kris Letang led the Penguins with five shots. Dominik Simon left the ice in the third period with an upper-body injury, which looked to be an arm injury. Three San Jose forwards had two points (Sorenson, Kane, Ferraro). Stefan Noesen, who briefly played with the Penguins this season but was claimed by San Jose off waivers, played almost nine minutes. He had one shot and three hits.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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