Two of the best teams in the Western Conference faced off in Tuesday night’s NHL action, and for the third time this season the San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues by at least a two-goal margin. The Sharks swept the season series thanks to the the efforts of their offense, which has had its way with the Blues this season. It was the first time in five games the Blues couldn’t manage at least a point, although tougher times may be in store with three key forwards out with injuries.
The Sharks got goals from Joe Pavelski and Matt Irwin to jump out to an early lead and they didn’t look back. Brent Burns added a goal before the Blues finally got on the board, and Jay Bouwmeester pulled them within one as the second period drew to a close. Martin Havlat‘s third period goal was enough to preserve the win for the Sharks, who outscored the Blues 16-7 on the season. The Blues got two goals from their defensemen, which could be a promising sign moving forward with David Backes, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka sidelined. Those three players have combined for 29 goals for St. Louis this season, and on a team that is second in the league in goals per game that’s a pretty big void to fill. San Jose netminder Antti Niemi turned aside 20 of the 22 shots he face, while Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak was beat four times on 27 shots in a battle of two of the league’s top goalies.
The Sharks now have 48 points and sit in second place in the Pacific Division, while the Blues are second in the Central with an identical 48-point mark.