Blues handle Sharks for second time in three nights
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Jake Allen made 39 saves, Chris Stewart led a balanced attack with two goals, and the St. Louis Blues beat San Jose 4-2 Tuesday for their second win over the Sharks in three nights.
Brent Burns scored his first in his season debut at forward and Dan Boyle had a late power-play goal for the Sharks, who have lost four in a row and have dropped 10-of-12 to the Blues, including the first round of the playoffs last season.
The Blues overcame a two-goal deficit in a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday night in San Jose and clinched this one on Stewart’s empty-netter with 1:16 to go, four seconds after goalie Antti Niemi was pulled.
Allen has won six of his first seven career NHL starts, also besting the Sharks in San Jose.
Allen has made the most of his chance with a team that had appeared set at goalie. Brian Elliott has been benched with a 3.65 goals-against average, and Jaroslav Halak has been inconsistent and has missed time due to injury.
The shot total was by far the highest faced this season by the Blues, topping the 32 in a 5-2 win at Calgary on Feb. 13 with Allen in goal.
Blues forward T.J. Oshie (upper body) didn’t return after getting injured while checking Burns midway through the second period. Oshie got medical attention in the tunnel behind the bench before heading to the dressing room, and was credited with one hit in 5:33.
Burns returned from a leg injury that landed him on the injured list with his first point of the season in seven games. The Sharks moved Burns up from defense to forward after he totaled 12 goals in the previous six games.
San Jose, which entered next-to-last in the NHL with 56 goals, has just two regulation victories in 20 games.
Seven St. Louis players had a point to boost an offense minus its second line of Alex Steen, Andy McDonald and rookie Vladimir Tarasenko, and help the Blues move above .500 (6-5-1) at home.
Stewart beat Niemi on a break-in for the lone goal of the first period, giving him three goals and five assists in five games.
David Perron deflected an off-target pass from Patrik Berglund with his left skate to make it 2-0 midway through the second. Burns answered 1:02 later on a shot from high slot.
Barret Jackman, usually a stay-at-home defenseman, has five points in five games after joining the rush. He handcuffed Niemi with a backhander that left Porter with an open net for the rebound with 6.8 seconds left in the second.
Boyle scored with a one-timer only four seconds into a two-man advantage with 6:28 to go after Jackman (boarding) joined Scott Nichol (holding) in the penalty box.
Notes: Boyle’s fourth of the season ended a 1-for-38, power-play slump the last nine games for the Sharks. The goal was just the second allowed by Blues penalty killers in eight home games. ... Berglund has a five-game point streak with four goals and two assists.
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