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Sharks strike fast, even up West final

ST. LOUIS — Brent Burns scored San Jose's first two power-play goals of the Western Conference final and Martin Jones stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the postseason as the Sharks beat the Blues 4-0 Tuesday night to even the series at a game apiece.

Tommy Wingels and Dainius Zubrus also scored and Logan Couture had two assists to help the Sharks bounce back from a tight loss in the opener.

Brian Elliott had 20 saves for St. Louis, which is 4-5 at home and 5-2 on the road in the postseason. Elliott wasn't as sharp as he's been throughout the Blues' run to their first conference final since 2001.

Burns' fifth and sixth goals of the postseason both came on one-timers with Blues right wing Troy Brouwer in the penalty box, and were his only shots of the game.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound defenseman made it 2-0 in the second off a setup from Joe Pavelski just 16 seconds after Brouwer went off for slashing, and Burns made it a three-goal gap about 12 minutes into the third off a feed from Patrick Marleau 24 seconds after Brouwer was whistled for high sticking.

Jones also blanked Nashville in San Jose's second-round victory.

Zubrus assisted on Wingels' goal early in the first and added an empty-netter in the final minute.

Vladimir Tarasenko led the Blues with six shots at the end of a long day — his wife, Yana, gave birth to a son earlier Tuesday. The Blues' star was looking at the video board when the team announced the arrival to a standing room crowd of 19,586.

The Sharks entered the series clicking at 31 percent on the power play, best in the postseason. They were 0 for 3 in the opener and coach Peter DeBoer complained about the lack of calls during the day between games.

San Jose also killed off a four-minute high-sticking call against Marleau early in the third period without too much trouble.

Wingels scored his second goal 2:07 in, seconds after Jones thwarted Tarasenko on the other end. Tarasenko had pickpocketed Paul Martin in the San Jose slot.

Burns is the lone Sharks player with a hat trick against the Blues, doing it on Nov. 13, 2013, in San Jose.

Blues forward Patrik Berglund dodged injury when he banged his left leg on the slightly open door to the bench in the second period. Berglund walked it off in the tunnel to the dressing room. Sharks forward Matt Nieto (undisclosed injury) missed his third straight game.

Red Wings: The team hired goalie coach Jeff Salajko a week after adding assistant coach Doug Houda to coach Jeff Blashill's staff. Salajko has been helping at AHL Grand Rapids for two seasons. He previously was an assistant coach in the minors for the Columbus Blue Jackets and at Ohio State. Salajko had an eight-year career as a goalie in the minors. Detroit didn't re-sign goalie coach Jim Bedard after he worked for the franchise for 18 seasons.

Sharks strike fast, even up West final 05/17/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 11:22pm]
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