Brent Burns' first of two power play goals in Game 2 (via NHL.com)
The San Jose Sharks power play has been outstanding throughout the playoffs, and the St. Louis Blues got to see firsthand what the Sharks can do. Brent Burns netted two power play goals, including one that saw four Sharks touch the puck in four seconds before lighting the lamp.
One of the biggest talking points entering the Western Conference final was special teams. If the Blues were going to get by the Sharks and into the Stanley Cup final, St. Louis couldn’t go down a man often or San Jose would make them pay.
In Game 1, however, the Blues managed to shut down the Sharks power play. Three times San Jose went on the man advantage, and three times St. Louis killed off penalty. Game 2 didn’t go quite the same way, though, and it may just have been that Game 1 was the exception to the rule that the Sharks power play will almost assuredly burn teams who give them chances to operate. Twice in Game 2 the Sharks struck with the extra man, including a second period goal from Brent Burns that was a thing of beauty.
After Blues winger Troy Brouwer was sent off for slashing, the Sharks’ top power play unit went to work. San Jose maintained possession in the St. Louis zone following the faceoff after Brouwer went off, and Burns ended up retreating to the blueline with the puck. As he reached the backend, he set into motion a play that saw four Sharks touch the puck in four seconds. Watch this clinic:
Burns’ pass narrowly misses Patrick Marleau, but that sets into motion a gorgeous passing play that sees Marleau chip the puck to Logan Couture, who moves it to Joe Pavelski, who spots Burns streaking in for the one-timer. If Blues netminder Brian Elliott would have somehow stopped that, it would have been the save of the night, because the passing was dizzying and Burns connected with that one-timer without even the slightest hesitation.
The Sharks would add a second power play goal midway through the third period, again coming off of the stick of Burns. On the two power plays Burns found the back of the net, a grand total of 40 seconds ticked off the clock.
Burns’ two goals with the man advantage, paired with an early goal by Tommy Wingels and an empty-netter by Dainius Zubrus, were more than enough to pace the Sharks to a 4-0 win. San Jose has now tied the series as action shifts back to California for Games 3 and 4.