I think at some level we all knew the Sharks power play would be fine after going 0-3 on Sunday against the Blues. San Jose's penalty kill being a difference maker in game two? Well, I certainly wasn't going to predict that. While the Sharks may want to show some more discipline in game three, there's no denying San Jose's special teams set the tone in the series-evening win last night.
The last time the Sharks special teams play scored twice and pitched a shutout in 10+ minutes on the ice in the playoffs? You've got to go back to 2010 when the Sharks beat the Red Wings 4-3 to open what would be a 4-1 series victory for San Jose. That stat might sound just a bit too specific to mean anything (fair), but the Sharks have kept a clean sheet on the penalty kill only 20 times in the postseason when taking 12 or more PIM.
So yeah, the Sharks lived dangerously on Tuesday night and played well enough to keep Martin Jones' shutout alive. It didn't hurt that the Blues often looked a bit hapless when on the power play, but give credit to San Jose's penalty kill for coming up big when it has earned a reputation this season for being anything but impressive.
What stood out, beyond the Sharks killing so many penalties, is the all-hands-on-deck mentality San Jose had, particularly late in the game. Every Sharks skater except Joe Thornton and Joonas Donskoi played at least some portion of time on the penalty kill. Roman Polak, Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau were the only skaters, along with the aforementioned two, to play fewer than a minute on the PK.
Certainly the Sharks aren't too interested in using their top forwards to kill penalties for the rest of this series, but it's great to see that Peter DeBoer trusts virtually his entire lineup to go out there and kill penalties. The depth of this San Jose team has been a narrative throughout these playoffs and nights like tonight really bang that home. It's in the Sharks best interest to not test their luck going forward, of course, but it feels good to see San Jose thrive on both ends of the special teams spectrum.
Enough about the penalty kill — let's talk about something a lot sexier, and I'm not talking about Brent Burns' slap shot. Well, not directly, anyway. San Jose scored at least twice on the power play for the 20th time this season. So the Sharks have scored two or more power play goals in 20.8 percent of their games this season. San Jose still holds the second-best power play mark in the postseason (Chicago posted a 31.6 in seven games, the Sharks hold a 31.0 mark).
Burns now has four power-play goals this postseason, which puts him just a goal behind three Sharks for the most power-play goals scored in a single postseason. Logan Couture (12-13), Patrick Marleau (09-10) and Mike Rathje (94-95) all scored five power-play goals in one postseason. Burns also joins a small group of Sharks who have scored two power-play goals in a single game, listed below:
You'll note he's the first Sharks defender to ever score two power-play goals in a single game and is the first Shark to do it since 2013. On a night when just about everything seemed to go right for San Jose, this is a nice cherry on top.