The Sharks continue to fight their way back from every loss they suffer in the 2016 playoffs, taking Game 2 of the Western Conference Final tonight to even the series at one before it shifts to San Jose for Games 3 and 4. Tommy Wingels, Brent Burns and Dainius Zubrus scored goals (Burns twice) while Martin Jones stopped 26 Blues shots for his second shutout of the playoffs.
After surrendering the first goal in Game 1, the Sharks jumped out to an early lead just 2:07 into Game 2. It was the fourth line that got things started, getting on the scoresheet following a Game 1 performance in which it comfortably out-possessed its opposition. Wingels scored the goal, taking a shot from the slot that deflected off of Brian Elliott's blocker and into the net. It was Wingels' second goal of the playoffs and first into a manned net.
The Sharks' power play was the subject of some scrutiny after going 0-for-3 in the series opener, but in the second period tonight it proved that reports of its death had been greatly exaggerated. After being slashed by Troy Brouwer behind the net to put his team up a man for the second time, Burns took a pass from Joe Pavelski and blasted the puck past Elliot to make the score 2–0.
San Jose benefitted from a broken stick right off the faceoff, effectively giving its top unit a brief 5-on-3 power play when Alexander Steen attempted to get a new piece of lumber from the bench. As they're wont to do, Burns and the Sharks didn't take long to take advantage of Steen's mishap and double their lead.
Holding a 2–0 lead before the midway point of the game, the Sharks didn't ease up their pressure on the Blues at all. St. Louis managed just eight shot attempts in the final 13 minutes of the second period, only three of which made it through to Jones guarding the San Jose net.
In the third, a double minor to Patrick Marleau for high sticking Carl Gunnarsson gave St. Louis its best chance yet to get back in the game, but the Sharks didn't let the Blues set up for the first three and a half minutes of the penalty kill and after that Jones was up to the task until Marleau stepped out of the box.
With eight and a half minutes left to play. another Brouwer penalty set up Burns' second power play goal on the Sharks' fifth opportunity of the night. Shortly afterwards a pair of penalties to Roman Polak and Paul Martin gave the Blues another chance to cut into the Sharks' lead, but San Jose's penalty kill had its best performance of the playoffs to keep St. Louis off the board.
Zubrus added an empty net goal with 18.4 seconds left to make it 4–0 Sharks.
Sharks goals (assists): Tommy Wingels (Dainius Zubrus, Justin Braun), Brent Burns (Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture), Brent Burns (Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture), Dainius Zubrus
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Brent Burns
2) Martin Jones
3) Tommy Wingels