For all the talk about the Sharks’ power play — a unit that rebounded nicely in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final — it’s worth noting that their penalty killing was equally effective last night in St. Louis.
The Sharks uncharacteristically put themselves shorthanded six times — the most for them in these playoffs — but they didn’t allow a goal.
“I thought we did a great job with the kill tonight,” said goalie Martin Jones, who made 12 shorthanded saves. “We blocked shots. The shots we did give up were from areas of the ice that we’re okay with.”
We mentioned the other day that the last time the Sharks made the conference final, in 2011, their penalty killing let them down against the Canucks, who scored nine power-play goals in just five games.
“We kept marching to the box, they kept scoring,” then-coach Todd McLellan said after one loss.
San Jose’s PK is now running at 83.3 percent in these playoffs. Combine that with a power play that’s converting at 30 percent and it’s no wonder the Sharks are feeling good about themselves. Because on top of special teams, they’re not too shabby when it’s five-on-five.
With the series shifting back to the Shark Tank for Games 3 and 4, the Blues know they’re facing a significant challenge.
“They were much better than us probably in every aspect, especially on special teams,” said coach Ken Hitchcock.
“They got their A game going right now. It’s our job to catch up.”