San Jose Sharks vs St. Louis Blues
Two power play goals by Brent Burns, a 26-save effort by goaltender Martin Jones and the penalty killing units (six-for-six), led the San Jose Sharks to a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals in St. Louis. The series is tied 1-1.
“We took some minors (penalties) tonight that aren’t normal for us,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said following the contest. “Our special teams were good, our five-on-five play was good, our goalie was good. We played the type of hockey you need to play this time of year to win.”
The Sharks came out with more energy in the first period than they had in Game 1 and played a fast and physical game. Conversely, the Blues started slowly and never picked up the pace resulting in their chasing the game all night long.
Tommy Wingels scored his second postseason goal to give San Jose a 1-0 lead 2:07 into the game when he received a pass in the high slot from Dainius Zubrus and snapped a wrist shot that made its way through a screen and between the stick hand and body of Blues goaltender Brian Elliott. Justin Braun fed the puck to Zubrus to start the play garnering Braun the secondary assist.
The first period ended with San Jose leading St. Louis 1-0.
The Sharks controlled the tempo in the second period and took a 2-0 lead with a power play goal by Brent Burns at the 7:04 mark of the period. San Jose won an offensive zone faceoff, during which Blues center Alexander Steen broke his stick. Steen tried to block a shot then went to his bench for a new stick. Burns had the puck at the left point and passed it to Patrick Marleau at the right point, who fed the disc up the boards to Logan Couture. Couture hit Joe Pavelski with a pass in the middle of the zone. Pavelski sent the puck to his left to a streaking Burns and the big defenseman put a shot over Elliott’s blocker before Steen could get back into the play.
After two periods, San Jose had outshot St. Louis 19-15.
With the exception of San Jose needing to kill a five-on-three penalty situation, which it did successfully, the third period saw more of the same.
Burns scored his second power play goal of the night with 8:02 remaining in the third period. Joe Thornton had possession of the puck behind the St. Louis net. He passed back to Burns at the left point. Burns sent it across the ice to Marleau, who moved it up to Couture on the right wing. Couture returned the puck to Marleau. Marleau fed a perfect pass to his left for Burns to one-time a slap shot past Jones and the Sharks owned a 3-0 lead.
The Blues put on a bit of a push late in the period with Jones pulled in favor for the extra skater but it was too little, too late as Dainius Zubrus scored into the empty net for the contest’s final goal and a 4-0 lead with 19 seconds to play in the game.
St. Louis will need to find the style it played in their series wins over Chicago and Dallas or this series, and the season, will end quickly for them.
The series shifts to San Jose’s SAP Center for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 will be played on Thursday, May 19 (8:00 pm ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
Stat of the Night:
Road teams improved to 37-39 this postseason, after winning only 38 contests during the entire 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs (38-51).
Per Elias Sports Bureau, Brent Burns is the second defenseman in Stanley Cup Playoffs history with two multi-goal games on the road in a single playoff year. The first was Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders in 1975.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Brent Burns is the 11th different defenseman in Stanley Cup Playoffs history with 2-plus multi-goal games in one postseason.
Brent Burns set San Jose Sharks records for points (18) and goals (6) in a single playoff by a defenseman (Dan Boyle: 16 in 2011, Mike Rathje: 5 in 1995).
Martin Jones posted his second career playoff shutout (also Game 7 versus Nashville).
Martin Jones is the second San Jose Sharks goaltender to post multiple shutouts in a single postseason (also Evgeni Nabokov: 3 in 2004).
With two assists in Game 2, Logan Couture (7 goals, 12 assists, 19 points) set a San Jose Sharks record for points in a single postseason, besting the mark set by Igor Larionov in 1994 (5 goals, 13 assists, 18 points).
Wednesday’s Stanley Cup Schedule:
Game 3 – Eastern Conference Finals – Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning (8:00 pm ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) Best-of-seven series is tied 1-1.
Follow ESPN New Hampshire’s NHL Writer, Shawn Hutcheon, on Twitter at @ShawnHutcheon.