The Latest: Penguins beat Sharks 3-1 to take 3-1 series lead
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The Latest on Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks (all times local):
The Pittsburgh Penguins are on the verge of lifting the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2009.
Ian Cole, Evgeni Malkin and Eric Fehr scored and Matt Murray made 23 saves as the Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 Monday to take a 3-1 lead in the Cup final. Game 5 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
Malkin's goal was his first in seven games. Right wing Phil Kessel had two primary assists to further his Conn Smythe Trophy campaign.
Melker Karlsson scored the lone goal for San Jose, which got 17 saves from Martin Jones.
The Sharks outshot the Penguins 24-20 but couldn't capitalize on being on home ice in front of a jacked-up crowd at SAP Center. Fehr took the suspense out of the ending with a goal in the final minutes of the third period.
7:50 p.m. PDT
Eric Fehr scores to give the Penguins some breathing room late in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Fehr scores with 2:20 left off a pass from Carl Hagelin to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead on the San Jose Sharks. They're on the verge of taking a 3-1 lead in the series.
Melker Karlsson has given the Sharks much-needed life in the third period of Game 4.
Karlsson scored 8:07 into the third to cut the Penguins' lead to 2-1. The puck bounced to Karlsson in the slot, and he beat Matt Murray for his fourth goal of the playoffs.
San Jose is trying to force overtime and avoid falling behind 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Penguins' penalty kill continues to come up big, and it has Pittsburgh 20 minutes from a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
Pittsburgh has a 2-0 lead on the Sharks through two periods of Game 4 on goals by Ian Cole and Evgeni Malkin. Phil Kessel had the primary assist on both.
The Penguins killed off a hooking penalty to Bryan Rust late in the second period to head into the second intermission with a two-goal lead. They're outshooting San Jose 13-12 through two periods.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer has put his lines in the giant blender hoping to erase a 2-0 deficit in Game 4.
After saying he was reticent to play Logan Couture with the Joes Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton DeBoer did just that midway through Game 2. That left Chris Tierney centering Patrick Marleau and Joonas Donskoi.
Desperate times for San Jose, already down 2-1 in the series to the Penguins
Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel hooked up to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead over the Sharks in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. It's Malkin's first goal in seven games.
Nine seconds into a power play, Malkin deflected Kessel's slap pass past a helpless Martin Jones at 2:37. San Jose's Melker Karlsson was in the penalty box for interference.
Kessel, a candidate to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, picked up his second assist of the game, taking advantage of Justin Braun leaving Malkin wide open.
One mistake was the difference between the Penguins and Sharks after one period of Game 4.
San Jose's ill-timed line change led to Ian Cole's goal 7:36 into the first period, which gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead. The Penguins have a 2-1 series lead.
The Sharks had eight shots to the Penguins' six at the first intermission. Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray had eight saves.
The Sharks killed off an interference penalty to defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic with a big performance from goaltender Martin Jones.
Jones made two saves on the Penguins' power play, including one on superstar Evgeni Malkin, to keep San Jose's deficit at one goal.
Vlasic was sent to the penalty box at 11:37 for interfering with Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby, who he dumped into the bench.
The penalty came 4:01 after Ian Cole made it 1-0 Penguins with his first goal in 124 consecutive regular-season and playoff games.
Ian Cole picked a great time to score his first goal in the Stanley Cup Final.
Cole collected the rebound off the left pad of Martin Jones and beat the Sharks goaltender to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead 7:36 into the first period.
San Jose players chased Evgeni Malkin all over the ice prior to the goal and erred by going off for a line change. Brenden Dillon covered Phil Kessel as Pittsburgh's leading scorer in the playoffs got a shot off, but he was helpless as the puck got to Cole on the weak side.
Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final is underway after a rousing national anthem from Sharks fans and Metallica guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett.
The guitars used in the performance will be autographed and then auctioned for charity by the Sharks Foundation. The anthem came after an elaborate laser show and video presentation before the players took the ice.
"The best national anthem ever," Canadian professional golfer Graham DeLaet tweeted.
Drummer Lars Ulrich and bass player Robert Trujillo opened the dressing room door to lead the Sharks on the ice for the game against Pittsburgh.
Metallica and the Sharks have been linked for years. San Jose players skate through the shark head on the ice before all games to Metallica's "Seek and Destroy."
Hetfield led the Sharks out of their dressing room for Game 6 of the Western Conference Final against St. Louis, and the team held a "Metallica Night" last season.
Goaltenders Matt Murray and Martin Jones have led the Penguins and Sharks onto the ice for pregame warm-ups prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
If Pittsburgh wins the Cup, Murray can tie the rookie record for playoff wins in a single postseason shared by Cam Ward in 2006, Ron Hextall in 1987 and Patrick Roy in 1986.
Jones has started every game of the playoffs for San Jose, which is trying to even things on home ice.
Evgeni Malkin has no goals in the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final and none in his past six overall.
Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan isn't worried.
Hours before Game 4 of the Cup final against the San Jose Sharks with his team holding a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, Sullivan said Malkin can be a difference maker on any shift. Sullivan said there's "another level" to Malkin's game to help the Penguins win.
"I think Geno is going to be fine," Sullivan said. "I know he's going to be a big part of the next few games here. He's an elite player. When he plays the game the right way, he's a threat out there."
The Sharks won't have one of their biggest threats yet again. Injured forward Tomas Hertl is out for the second consecutive game.