The dreaded Game 2 hex persisted for the San Jose Sharks on Monday night as they lost to the St. Louis Blues 4-2 in the second game of their Western Conference Final series at SAP Center.
The best-of-seven series is now tied 1-1 as the teams head for St. Louis.
It's the third straight Stanley Cup Playoffs series in which San Jose has won the opener then dropped Game 2.
Logan Couture erased a two-goal San Jose deficit with two tallies in the second period to tie the game, but it would be all the scoring the Sharks could muster.
Here are three takeaways from Game 2:
St. Louis had the depth scoring: While the Blues got on the board in the first frame thanks to their top line, they also got depth contributions from Vince Dunn, Robert Bortuzzo, and Oskar Sundqvist. That's the kind of contribution the Sharks could benefit from getting more of in this series.
Outside of Kevin Labanc’s goal in Game 1, San Jose’s big guns have been carrying the offense so far through this series. If they’re going to knock the Blues out of the playoffs, they need to get contributions from more than just their top six.
The penalty kill kept it close: San Jose could’ve been in a much deeper hole in Game 2 had their kill not brought its A-game. Even before Couture scored a short-handed goal in the second period, the kill was generating offense and causing St. Louis’ power play fits.
Credit has to be given to Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi in particular for their work in Game 2. Killing penalties isn’t exactly the most glamorous job on the ice, but it has been a big key to San Jose’s success in the latter part of these playoffs. There’s no doubt the Sharks would prefer to just play a very clean game, but at least they have a solid penalty kill to rely on.
Couture keeps on rolling: Before the start of Game 2, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was asked what makes Couture so effective in the playoffs. DeBoer confessed he didn’t know, adding that there are just, “guys in the history of the game that have that ability.” That ability was on premium display in the second period of Monday’s game when Couture dug the Sharks out of a two-goal hole by scoring twice in a span of 1:59 to tie things up 2-2.