Sharks

Sharks

BOX SCORE

ST. LOUIS – For the fourth time in their history, the Sharks are competing in the Western Conference Final. For the first time in their history, they avoided falling into a 2-0 series hole.

Brent Burns scored a pair of power play goals, and Martin Jones stopped 26 shots as the Sharks evened their series with the Blues with a commanding 4-0 win in Game 2 on Tuesday at Scottrade Center.

Game 3 is in San Jose on Thursday (6 p.m., NBCSN).

San Jose scored one goal in each of the three frames before a late empty netter.

The fourth line struck early. After moving the puck around the offensive zone, Tommy Wingels’ wrist shot from the slot nicked Jori Lehtera and bounded through Brian Elliott at 2:07 of the first.

The goal came shortly after Jones kept it scoreless, denying Vladimir Tarasenko alone in front of the net after the Blues’ forward stripped Paul Martin of the puck.

The Sharks’ first power play goal of the series upped the lead to 2-0. Burns, who drew a slashing minor on Troy Brouwer, powered home a one-timer from Joe Pavelski at 7:04 of the middle frame.

Brouwer rang one off the post with about a minute left in the second after Burns and Martin got mixed up in the defensive zone, and San Jose took it’s two-goal lead to the dressing room.

St. Louis’ best chance to break through came early in the third, when Patrick Marleau high-sticked Carl Gunnarsson 32 seconds in, earning a double-minor. The Blues’ execution on the four-minute power play was atrocious for most of it, though, while Jones denied Brouwer from the slot with his right pad late on the extended advantage.

A rocket from Burns at 11:58 of the third, again on the power play, gave the Sharks a commanding 3-0 lead. Dainius Zubrus capped the scoring with an empty net goal with 18 seconds to go.

San Jose improved to 6-0 in the playoffs when leading after two periods. They were 28-0-2 in the regular season.

In their three previous trips to the Western Conference Final in 2004, 2010 and 2011, the Sharks lost at least the first two games in each.

The Sharks snapped a four-game road losing streak, their longest of the season. They are 8-5 all-time when a series is tied at one game apiece.

Special teams

The Sharks finished 2-for-5 on the power play, and are 2-for-8 in the series.

St. Louis failed on all six of its advantages, including a brief five-on-three late, generating 12 shots on goal. The Blues are 1-for-8 through the first two games.

In goal

Jones notched his second shutout of the playoffs and second of his career in improving to 9-5.

Elliott, the Blues’ best player in Game 1, allowed three goals on 23 shots in falling to 10-6 in the postseason.

Lineup

Couture, who assisted on both of Burns’ goals, now has 19 points, breaking Igor Larionov’s franchise record for one playoff year (1994).

Joe Thornton was slashed in the left hand by Jay Bouwmeester and briefly left the ice in the third period, but returned to finish the game.

St. Louis forwards Alex Steen and Patrik Berglund also had to visit the dressing room for brief stretches, but both quickly returned.

Neither team made any changes to its active lineup from Game 1.

Up next

The Sharks now return home, where they have won five straight and are 5-1 overall in the postseason.

San Jose is 20-13 overall in Game 3’s, losing both this year.