Sharks Circle in Swirl of Momentum
In a flash, the San Jose Sharks made special teams work in their favor Tuesday night. And in doing so, they may have turned the Western Conference playoff series around. The turn of events led the Sharks to a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues and tied the series at 1-1 going to San Jose. They play there on Thursday.
Save and Score
The Sharks, who were bested by the Blues in special teams situations in a Game 1 loss on Sunday, turned the tables starting early in the second period Tuesday. With a 1-0 lead, San Jose killed off a penalty, then almost immediately came back with a power play goal by Brent Burns to make it 2-0. The Sharks went on to kill a huge double-minor penalty early in the third period and get another Burns power play goal to make it 3-0. The final statement came in the last five minutes when the Sharks killed off back-to-back penalties. An empty-net goal as time ran out, was the final tally.
All told, the Sharks left the ice having killed five penalties. They scored on two power plays, regaining their confidence as the postseason's top specialists. Goalkeeper Martin Jones was a big part of that effort, garnering 26 saves. But Jones didn’t get as much work at the number indicates. The Sharks outskated the Blues all night, chasing down lose pucks and rushing to the net for opportunities. They stayed in the Blues' zone for much of the night. Vladimir Taresenko was the only Blues threat, and he was shut down in six shots.
Back to San Jose
San Jose has now proven they can bounce back after the disappointment of playing well and losing. They’ve also served notice to the Blues that the penalty box is nowhere to be for the rest of the series. Now the Sharks return home with the series tied and a renewed confidence. St. Louis may be the better team here, but they will have to prove it. Look at Game 3 as a sort of do-or-die for the Blues. If they win, the series will go to seven games. If the Sharks win, they should advance to the Stanley Cup finals one way or the other.
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