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Penguins on brink of Stanley Cup title

Associated Press Associated Press 7/06/2016

Pittsburgh has moved within one victory of the NHL's Stanley Cup title by winning 3-1 at San Jose, with Evgeni Malkin scoring his first goal of the series and goaltender Matt Murray making 23 saves.

The score in the ice hockey series is the same as the score in Monday's game - 3-1 - and the Penguins can clinch their fourth title when they host game five on Thursday.

Malkin had been held pointless in the first three games of the series but set up Ian Cole's goal to open the scoring and added a goal of his own on the power play to make it 2-0.

"He's a world-class player," Penguins defenceman Ian Cole said of Malkin.

"He's been going through a rough stretch. He's been really contributing in other ways than on the score sheet. But obviously you saw how good he is today. When he turns it on, obviously what he can do is huge for our team."

Melker Karlsson pulled a goal back for the Sharks but as they were pushing hard for a tying goal late in the third period, they were caught out by a rapid counterattack and Eric Fehr sealed victory.

The Sharks conceded the first goal for the fourth straight game and went more than nine minutes without a shot on goal during the second period.

San Jose has yet to lead at any point in the series other than scoring the overtime winner in game three.

"We've been chasing the game the whole series by not scoring first," coach Peter DeBoer said.

"That takes you out of your four-line rhythm. It affects all parts of your game ... That's the biggest thing we have to fix. We have to find a way to get on the board earlier in the game instead of chasing it all night."

The Sharks will need to win in Pittsburgh to give another home game to their loyal fans who waited 25 years to watch the Stanley Cup final in the Bay Area.

No team has come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the final since Toronto did it in 1942 against Detroit.

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