The San Jose Sharks find themselves down in a two-games-to-none series hole for the first time in these playoffs.
That's the bad news.
The good news is the last time the Sharks were facing this situation, the series ended up going seven games.
Back in 2013, the Sharks were facing another Stanley Cup caliber team in the Los Angeles Kings. In fact, those Kings were the defending Cup champions. Just like this current series where the Penguins won the first two games at home, those Kings took both Games 1 and 2 at Staples Center. The Sharks would come back home though and hold serve on their home ice to tie the series 2-2. They then laid a dud in Game 5 before winning Game 6 back in San Jose to force a Game 7 that they could have very easily won. That final game was inches away from being tied 2-2 towards the end of regulation had Joe Pavelski realized he had time to elevate a wide open chance over a sprawling Jonathan Quick.
So while the Sharks have never won a series after a being down 2-0, they do have experience making valiant comeback efforts. Also recall back in 2008, the Sharks went down 3-0 to Dallas before pushing the series to a Game 6 where they finally lost in quadruple overtime. If San Jose scores in that OT period, Game 7 would have been in San Jose where they probably end up making history.
Games 1 and 2 of this Stanley Cup final with the Pittsburgh Penguins could not have gone worse for San Jose, but they aren't down and out just yet. There is some positive history to draw on. Although, in that Kings series the Sharks played far better in Los Angeles than they have thus far in Pittsburgh.
Sure enough the first two games of this series have only been one-goal defeats, but based off level of play, both games could have been blowout wins for Pittsburgh. Therefore, it is completely understandable for Sharks fans to be worried. San Jose might have simply dug themselves too deep a hole by not adapting their lineup quick enough to beat Pittsburgh's high-flying attack.
While the Sharks have mostly been outplayed in this series, their top-unit power play has yet to score goal. That is bound to change. This series is likely not to go much longer before the dominant first unit gets on the board. San Jose's power play has come up huge throughout these playoffs and it is only a matter of time before that unit cashes in.
In order to cash in though, they first have to earn those opportunities. Through most of Games 1 and 2, the Sharks didn't do enough to earn those calls. However, after Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer mixed up the lines going into the third period last game, the Sharks finally started to generate a consistent offensive attack.
With Joel Ward back up on the second line and Patrick Marleau centering the third line, San Jose turned things around. Ward's line with Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi were terrific in the final stanza as they set up the tying goal after multiple good shifts in a row. There is a good chance that this line will continue to play at that level as they were effective for much of the first two rounds. The Joe Thornton line has already been creating quality opportunities, so if the Couture line can build on that third period and Marleau's line can draw even in their matchup, the Sharks should give themselves a much, much better chance to win in Games 3 and 4.