After being in the spotlight for their Game 1 miscue, Brent Burns, Martin Jones and the rest of their Sharks teammates delivered in Game 2.
The San Jose Sharks felt they deserved a better fate in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final as they outplayed the St. Louis Blues for much of the night. Unfortunately, two mistakes by Brent Burns and Martin Jones on one play led to the game-winning goal which allowed the Blues to jump out to the early series advantage.
However, in Game 2, Burns and Jones redeemed themselves, propelling the Sharks to a 4-0 victory at Scottrade Center last night to even up this best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
The duo were the catalysts for team teal on this night as Burns one-timed home two power-play tallies for the visitors while Jones stoned the Blues attack to the tune of 26 saves and his second career playoff shutout.
Going back to the first game, a turnover from Burns at his own blue line allowed Jori Lehtera to skate in and sneak one between the body and glove hand of Jones on a shot he must stop.
More from Editorials
- Korenar deserves a chance at the NHL level
- Three prospects the Sharks should consider drafting
- Red hot Couture provides a much needed boost
- Is it reasonable for the Sharks to fire Doug Wilson?
- NHL misses golden opportunity with Tahoe games
That one misplay aside, Jones has been stellar in the first two games of this series, stopping 47 of the 49 shots he’s faced with a 1.03 GAA and a .959 save percentage.
Prior to last night’s contest, it was interesting to see how Jones would respond after his first real soft goal of these playoffs. Respond he would as he was the anchor for San Jose last night making 12 saves on six power-play opportunities for St. Louis, including a double-minor just 30 seconds into the final frame and a brief 5-on-3 with more than five minutes remaining.
He’s now recorded two shutouts in his past three starts for team teal.
Here was Jones’ assessment of his play last night, via Shawn Roarke of NHL.com:
"“Obviously, in Game 1, you don’t like to lose on a goal like that. I thought I played well other than that. I wasn’t really going to change anything. We just played well and got the bounces tonight.”"
His calm demeanor has been a fixture for these Sharks all season long and it was on full display in helping San Jose bounce back from their tough Game 1 defeat.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the wild man Burns, who didn’t quite look like himself in the first game of this series. While Burns peppered 14 shot attempts towards Brian Elliott, he didn’t seem as confident with the puck on his stick, making a few critical giveaways throughout the night.
In Game 2, the Burns that Sharks fans have come to know and love was on full display. Burns was active and involved, and that patented one-timer broke this game open for San Jose.
In the second, Joe Pavelski fed Burns who wired it past Elliott who couldn’t make it to the near post in time. Then in the third, it was Patrick Marleau’s turn to tee up Burns who fired a perfect shot to the far post past Elliott’s glove as he was sliding over to make the stop.
Burns has been a monster for the Sharks this postseason with 25:40 of ice time per game, and he established a new franchise record for goals (six) and points (18) by a blue liner in a single playoff campaign.
San Jose did what they’ve done all season long by responding after a tough outing. Team teal snapped their four-game road losing streak and avoided going down 0-2 in the Western Conference finals for the fourth-straight time.
It wasn’t just Burns and Jones who stepped up their games last night, but the rest of their Sharks teammates joined in on the action as team teal played the perfect road game.
While few in the white sweaters doubted Burns and Jones would bounce back, it was great to see them pave the way for a much-needed San Jose victory.