Havlat’s goal lifts Sharks past Blues 3-2 in 2 OT
Thursday, April 12, 2012
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Martin Havlat scored his second goal of the game 3:34 into the second overtime, giving the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their playoff series Thursday night.
Andrew Desjardins tied it for San Jose with 5:16 in regulation, banging in a one-timer from the slot from Tommy Wingels, and Dan Boyle had two assists. Antti Niemmi, who won a Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010, made 40 saves.
Patrik Berglund scored his first two career playoff goals in the third period for the Blues, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
St. Louis swept the regular season series 4-0 for the first time since 1994-95 and lost only six games in regulation at home during the regular season. The Blues dropped the last two, however, to Phoenix and Columbus after clinching the Central Division.
Game 2 is Saturday night in St. Louis, and the Blues will be seeking their first postseason victory since 2004.
While the Blues struggled at the finish of the regular season, going 4-4-3, the Sharks won four in a row and seven of nine.
Havlat has scored 30 points in his last 29 playoff games, and put the Sharks up in the series. The Blues were in control most of the first overtime, reeling off nine shots in a row at one point.
Desjardins forced overtime with his second goal in four career playoff games at 14:44, banging in a one-timer from the slot off a feed from Tommy Wingels.
Berglund’s first goal came on a deflection that fluttered just under Niemi’s armpit on the stick side in the opening minute, and the second came on a power play at 7:28 after Havlat was whistled for tripping Halak behind the net.
Andy McDonald’s speed created space on the second goal for Berglund, who was waiting in the slot. Berglund had one two-goal game during the regular season, Jan. 23 against Pittsburgh, and had one goal and no assists the last six games.
The Sharks, who were shut out in both trips to St. Louis during the season, capitalized on David Perron’s retaliation slashing penalty to take the lead. After getting driven into the boards by Brent Burns, Perron responded with a two-handed baseball swing to the torso. Martin Havlat’s deflection put San Jose in front with 22 seconds to go in the penalty.
Halak was well-screened on a wrist shot from the slot by Dan Boyle that was tipped in front at 6:02 for Havlat’s 29th point in his last 29 postseason games.
It was a rare failure by Blues penalty killers, who stopped 51 consecutive chances late in the season and were ranked eighth overall. The Sharks had the second-ranked power play.
Notes: The Sharks were 29-1-4 when leading after two periods during the regular season and the Blues were 4-13-2 when trailing after two. ... The Sharks have 46 playoff wins since the Blues’ last one in 2004. ...“Mad Men” actor Jon Hamm, who is from St. Louis, attended the game.
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