ST. LOUIS -- After playing well enough to win in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, the San Jose Sharks made sure it happened in Game 2. With a strong performance from the power play, they beat the St. Louis Blues 4-0 to seize control of home-ice advantage in the process.
How it happened: The Sharks got two power-play goals from defenseman Brent Burns as the Sharks' power play was unleashed on a Blues team that took way too many penalties.
For most of the game, the Blues had absolutely no breathing room with the tight-checking Sharks playing strong defensively while controlling play in the offensive zone for long stretches.
The one prime chance the Blues got in the second period ended up hitting the post when Troy Brouwer's shot just missed. Brouwer also had a great look on a power-play one-timer in the third that Sharks goalie Martin Jones turned aside.
The Sharks' power play finally got going after the Blues' penalty kill held an early edge in this series. Joe Pavelski made a great pass to Burns for a one-timer that gave Burns his fifth goal of the postseason and opened up a 2-0 lead for the Sharks. It was the first power-play goal of the series for San Jose.
The only consistent offensive threat for the Blues was Vladimir Tarasenko, who finished with six shots, but he couldn’t convert. Jones finished with 26 saves for the shutout.
What it means: The Sharks were the better team despite losing in Game 1, and came back with an even stronger performance in Game 2. So, really, the Sharks outplayed the Blues in both games on St. Louis' home ice. That's trouble for St. Louis as this series shifts back to San Jose where coach Peter DeBoer can get even more favorable matchups for his top players.
The Blues are going to have to find ways to generate more offense and exploit the depth advantage they have up front. So far, the Sharks have done a great job defending St. Louis and spending time in the offensive zone.
The Blues, as DeBoer has pointed out often in this series, are among the league's most penalized teams and it's really going to haunt them if they don't cut down on the penalties as the Sharks' power play gets going. This series is 1-1 but without improvement from St. Louis, the series could be tilting in San Jose's direction.