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Penguins Win (3-1) At San Jose (Sharks), Lead (3-1) And Can Clinch The Title At Home Thursday Night

June 7, 2016

It is as if Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins’ other tremendous player along with Sidney Crosby, and the fact a Pittsburgh team has not clinched a title at home in many “moons” had to be “inserted” here.

So as the song goes, “baby here goes,” (Bread’s “I Wanna Make It with You” ), Mr. Malkin scored a goal and assisted as Ian Cole “opened” which ” set the tone” in a series in which San Jose has never led in regulation in any game, as the Pens won (3-1) at San Jose vs the Sharks, to lead the Cup Finals three games to one.

Thus the Penguins have a chance to clinch a Pittsburgh major North American sports league crown at home for the first time since 1960, with a win Thursday night in game 5.

As the fine NBC hockey announcer Mike Emrick noted, there have been 11 titles by Pittsburgh teams (I note 6 by the Steelers at the “neutral ground” Super Bowl, 2 by the Pirates both at Baltimore, (the home city of esteemed writer Frank Deford (more on him in a post later today), vs the Orioles, and 3 by the Penguins, all clinched on the road.

Thursday night’s game, no matter the result, will be the first time a Pittsburgh team has an opportunity to clinch a title at home since doing so in 1960.

Both the Penguins and Pirates clinched their 5 combined titles since 1960, in their first opportunity to do so, each one being on the road.

Another point is that the last home title clinching win by a Pittsburgh team occurred in one of baseball’s greatest games, (one can make a case for it being the greatest), a (10-9) Pirates win, (that took just 2 hours and 36 minutes, a 10-9 game today is 4 hours) vs a great New York Yankees team in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series.

Bill Mazeroski, leading off the bottom of the ninth inning, hit the second pitch of the frame for a home run that broke a (9-9) tie, giving Pittsburgh its first sports’ title in 35 years.

Often forgotten, is Hal Smith’s 2 out, 3 run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning that transformed a one run Pirates’ deficit into a (9-7) lead.

 

Malkin

Evgeni Malkin, pictured above.

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