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game recap

Sharks shut out Blues in Game 2

Jones helps San Jose even Western Conference Final

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Martin Jones made 26 saves for his second Stanley Cup Playoff shutout, Brent Burns scored two power-play goals, and the San Jose Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-0 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at Scottrade Center on Tuesday.

Dainius Zubrus had a goal and an assist, and Tommy Wingels scored for the Sharks, who tied the best-of-7 series and will host Game 3 at SAP Center on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"We had a lot of confidence because we played well in Game 1," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said of a 2-1 loss here Sunday. "We lost Game 1 and we wanted to go home with a split and that's what we got."

Sharks center Logan Couture had two assists to give him 19 points in the 2016 playoffs, breaking the San Jose record of 18 set by Igor Larionov in 1994.

"It was good to get a couple on the power play," Couture said. "I think that was big for us."

Video: SJS@STL, Gm2: Burns finishes Pavelski's feed for PPG

The Blues were shut out in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since losing to the Sharks 1-0 in Game 2 of the 2001 first round. Jones shut out the Nashville Predators 5-0 in Game 7 of the second round this year.

"They played well. We didn't," Blues captain David Backes said. "We've got to park this one like we've parked every other one in the playoffs and come into San Jose and win a road game. That's our focus now. We've done a good job of turning the page in the past and we'll do the same thing here.

"We need to get our focus back to play our game. When we do that, we love the result. When we don't get to that and we don't have the commitment like we didn't tonight, the chips are all up in the air. Tonight they made us pay and deserved to win."

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead on a goal by their fourth line. Wingels was able to convert a Zubrus pass from the slot, a wrist shot Blues goalie Brian Elliott got a piece of, but it caromed into the net at 2:07.

Video: SJS@STL, Gm2: Wingels buries wrist shot past Elliott

"Our line, we got in on the offensive zone in the first period, and in the second period we had a chance," said Zubrus, who had his first points of the playoffs Tuesday.

The goal came moments after Jones was able to stop Vladimir Tarasenko in the slot after he skated past Sharks defenseman Paul Martin 1:41 into the game. (Tarasenko did not participate in the morning skate because he was with his wife for the birth of their first child.)

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead at 7:04 of the second period when Joe Pavelski fed Burns from the slot to the left circle for a one-timer. After Blues right wing Troy Brouwer took a slashing penalty on Burns behind the play, Burns scored short side while Blues forward Alexander Steen was playing with a broken stick and tried going to the bench to retrieve another one.

Video: SJS@STL, Gm2: Burns blasts one-timer PPG past Elliott

"We made two mistakes. There was no communication on the exit to get the stick, and then we pressured on the half wall on the point, outside the dots, instead of buying time," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We were in a 5-on-3 situation, we should have stayed passive. We went aggressive on it and should have stayed."

St. Louis had a chance with about one minute remaining in the second period to get momentum heading into the third, but Brouwer's shot hit the far post from the right circle.

The Blues were given a four-minute power play 32 seconds into the third period when Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau high-sticked Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. The Blues got late scoring chances from Brouwer and Jaden Schwartz that Jones kicked out.

"Obviously we have to be better at retrievals," Steen said of the Blues, who were 0-for-6 on the power play. "We were getting pucks in the zone and they're getting more guys to areas. They're anticipating where we're putting the pucks, outmanning us with the puck and getting pucks out of their zone."

Video: SJS@STL, Gm2: Jones blanks the Blues in Gm2 of WCF

Burns' second power-play goal came after another Brouwer penalty, this time for slashing in the offensive zone. Burns' slap shot from the left circle high glove side at 11:58 of the third gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead.

"We talked about little things that they do and what we want to do," Burns said. "I don't think we really changed much. We wanted to make a difference this game. All year we've been good. If we don't make a difference positively the game before, we can change it the next game and be able to capitalize."

Burns became the 11th defenseman in NHL history with two multigoal games in one postseason, the first since Rob Blake (2002, Colorado Avalanche). Denis Potvin is the only defenseman with three multigoal games in a playoff year; he did it in 1981 with the New York Islanders, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Zubrus scored his first goal of the playoffs into an empty net with 18.4 seconds remaining.

"I think we just played that game for longer periods," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I was happy with the second [period] and parts of the third in Game 1. I thought we brought our good game to the rink tonight for longer periods. Getting the first goal was big. I knew our power play would bounce back. It always has all year. But, you know, I liked our 5-on-5 game. We got contributions from everyone."

Video: Sharks edge Blues in Game 2 of WCF, tie series 1-1

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