ST. LOUIS – Jaden Schwartz scored twice in leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 win over the Sharks on Thursday night at Scottrade Center, in the first matchup between the clubs since last season’s Western Conference Final.
The Sharks have lost two straight, dropping to 3-2 on their longest road trip of the season, which concludes on Saturday in Arizona.
Special teams was the difference, as David Perron’s marker on the power play put the Blues ahead to stay in the second period. The Sharks were a season-worst 0-for-6, including the final 55 seconds of regulation after a delay of game penalty to Kyle Brodziak.
St. Louis scored twice in the second period to seize a 3-2 lead, which is where the score would remain.
Schwartz broke a 1-1 tie. After the Sharks’ fourth line was caught in its own zone and failed on a couple chances to clear, Schwartz’s wrist shot made its way through traffic at 8:45, giving St. Louis its first lead.
The Sharks responded just 19 seconds later. Justin Braun softly pushed the puck ahead where it found Kevin Labanc in the slot, the rookie turned around and flicked it through Jake Allen for his first career NHL goal.
San Jose had a pair of power plays after tying it at 2-2, but couldn’t find a way to re-take the lead. Instead, after Mikkel Boedker’s interference nullified the end of a Sharks advantage, Perron’s wrist shot on a Blues power play made it 3-2. Martin Jones, who didn’t play on Tuesday in Carolina, should have stopped it.
The goal ended the Sharks’ penalty kill streak at 11-plus games, and 26 kills overall.
Forward Tomas Hertl did not play after Perron’s goal, and was seen limping to the dressing room.
The teams traded first period scores. Logan Couture’s first even strength goal of the season on a rush by his line line at 6:16 opened the scoring, but St. Louis responded with the first of Schwartz’s tallies on a shot from the high slot at 10:38.
The Sharks fell shy of setting a new franchise record on the penalty kill, going 11 straight games before Perron ended the impressive run. St. Louis was 1-for-4.
On the power play, San Jose is 1-for-17 in its last six games, and 2-for-24 in the last eight road games.
Joel Ward replaced Patrick Marleau on the top unit in the third period.
Jones saw his personal three-game winning streak halted, allowing three goals on 25 shots.
Allen allowed two goals on 29 shots, and has gone 13 straight home games allowing two or fewer goals.
The Sharks rearranged all of their forward lines for the game, as Labanc played on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, and the scuffling Boedker was bumped to the fourth line.
Melker Karlsson missed his second straight game with a lower body injury.
St. Louis was without Alex Steen due to an undisclosed injury. Leading scorer Vladimir Tarasenko, who was questionable for the game, did play. His six-game point streak came to an end.
The Sharks will practice on Friday before Saturday’s game in Arizona. They lost to the Coyotes in the first meeting there on Nov. 1, 3-2.
San Jose hosts the Devils on Monday.