Conor Sheary's Stanley Cup Final Overtime Goal Shifted the Series in a Big Way

The Penguins took a 2-0 Stanley Cup Final lead with an overtime goal last night. And, boy, was it important.

The Pittsburgh Penguins keep outshooting their opponents. But they keep playing in extremely close, down-to-the-wire games.

That was no different last night in Game 2 against the San Jose Sharks. The Pens outshot the Sharks -- something they've done consistently over the last series in a half -- by eight, but they found themselves in overtime after a late third period goal from San Jose defenseman Justin Braun.

Any hockey fan or analyst knew the Penguins had outplayed the Sharks. But there they were, in overtime, staring at the potential of losing Game 2 and seeing the series tied at one game apiece.

And then Conor Sheary happened.

It was Sheary's second goal of the Final, and it was a big one. With the Penguins up 2-0 in the series, our algorithm gives them an 82.88% chance to win the Stanley Cup. And that may be a little conservative, as 44 of the 49 teams to go up 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final have ended up winning it, good for an 89.9% rate.

Had the Sharks scored in OT, then we're obviously looking at a different series. In fact, we'd be back where we were prior to Game 1, where the teams had essentially a coin flip chance to win it all -- a Sharks victory would've netted the Penguins with 51.72% odds to lift the Stanley Cup.

The two teams will travel to San Jose for Game 3 on Saturday. A victory there for Pittsburgh would put the Sharks on the brink of elimination, which would give part-owner Mario Lemieux more reason to celebrate.

Does it get any better than that?