The San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins played nearly 30 minutes of scoreless hockey before Phil Kessel managed to make it a 1-0 game. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals and was the result of a bad defensive zone choice by Roman Polak. San Jose had just successfully broken up a potential odd-man rush with some strong backchecking when the puck ended up on the defenseman’s stick.
He was pressured by Carl Hagelin, and tried to move the puck across his own net by snapping a pass to Brenden Dillon. Dillon seemed caught off guard by the pass, and was quickly harassed by Hagelin who didn’t have much difficulty stealing the puck away. He found Nick Bonino streaking towards the goal, who slid the puck to Kessel who was standing at the far post waiting for a tap-in goal.
It was also Polak who was sprawled out on the ice as the puck went from Bonino to Kessel for the goal. After the game the veteran defender didn’t attempt to sugarcoat his mistakes on the play. He spoke to gathered media following Game 2 and owned up, saying the following according to Shelly Anderson and The San Jose Mercury News:
“It was a bad play by me… I just tried to pass it to my partner and it kind of skipped a little bit. And then he had nothing else he could do. He had two guys on him, so he turned it over. Mistakes happen out there.”
That addressed the poor read on the goal, but what about the diving attempt to break up Bonino’s pass across the front of the net?
“It was just a desperate play. It didn’t work.”
Instead of knocking the puck away from Kessel, Polak essentially slowed the pass down and allowed the Penguins forward more time to bury his shot.