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Conference Final

Sharks look to end Game 2 struggles, extend series lead against Blues

Hope to build on win in Western Final opener

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks are hoping to take a 2-0 series lead in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time when they host the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center on Monday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The Sharks, who won Game 1 6-3 on Saturday, won Game 1 in each of the first two rounds on home ice before losing Game 2 in each best-of-7 series.

"We didn't play well," Sharks forward Logan Couture said after practice Sunday. "Both series, we came out, we had a solid first game and then just didn't play well in the second game. I don't know if guys were relaxed or what happened, but we need to play well tomorrow. It's a big game. We want to win in front of our home crowd, we've been very good at home this postseason, and we want to continue that."

The Sharks are 7-2 at home in the playoffs, with each loss coming in Game 2. In the first round, they trailed the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 in the first period before tying the game and eventually losing 5-3. In the second round, they allowed three straight goals in a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

 

[RELATED: Complete Sharks vs. Blues series coverage]

 

"I think it was kind of us just letting off the gas a little bit in those Game 2s in the previous series," Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon said. "I think we've got to make an emphasis of it tomorrow. In the past, teams that go down 0-2, it's a lot tougher than being 1-1, especially going back home, so we want to keep this home-ice advantage as best we can, and it starts tomorrow."

The Blues, who are 5-2 on the road in the playoffs, have allowed 10 goals in five games following a loss in the playoffs.

"It's over. Just throw it out," Blues forward Pat Maroon said. "Nothing you can do about it. You're going to have bad games, teams are going to play good throughout the series. This is a team that bounces back, and we find ways to fix our game and elevate our game and try to do things to get our team back to where our team needs to be."

Video: Coyle, Rupp break down Sharks' Game 1 win vs. Blues

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said he expects the Blues to have a better 60-minute effort than they did in Game 1.

"We won Game 1 of the last two series, and both times we dropped Game 2, so hopefully as you work your way through the playoffs, you learn from your mistakes," DeBoer said. "And [the Blues are] going to be better, they're going to be desperate, they're not going to want to go in a 2-0 hole, and we've got to handle that situation better than we have in the first two rounds."

The Blues' best period in Game 1 was the third, when they outshot the Sharks 12-5.

"We have to play much better and we got to go out from the start and play our best game," Blues forward David Perron said. "We have to make a few adjustments, but I think it's on each individual to bring it and be a little bit better."

Each of San Jose's first two playoff series went seven games, and it would prefer playing fewer than that in the conference final.

"We have to realize the opportunity here to go up 2-0," Sharks forward Gustav Nyquist said. "Not take your foot off the gas, keep doing the same stuff we did in Game 1, at least the first couple periods and be (it would be) big to take the next one as well."

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