Saturday, April 14, 2012

St. Louis and San Jose: Game Two

Dilip Vishwanat - Getty Images
San Jose's Goalie Antti Niemi

Tonight at 6:30 ET game two of the Blues vs. Sharks series will be under way.

The Sharks are coming off from a 3-2, 2OT win Thursday night, which will have to contribute to tonight’s play as they will be returning back to Scottrade Center for game two in the first round of playoffs.  A less than anticipated win for the Sharks left the favorable Blues with a sour taste in their mouth, a win that had the potential to have gone either way, as it was stretched out to a second over time. Needless to say, the on road win definitely added some much needed momentum for the Sharks, but will that be enough for them to hold on for game two?

Niemi’s goaltending in game one was a huge aspect of their win Thursday, stopping 40 of 42 shots on net. However, will the sharks be able to rely on their net minder for another win tonight? The Blues outshot the sharks in all periods (with the exception of the third period) which does not help in making it any easier for Niemi. Most of St. Louis’ shots could be chalked up to their quite effective offence, and shot chances provided by the SJ defence.

Allowing the fewest shots per game in the league, the Blues defence has done an effective job in reducing the chances on net, and taking some work off of Halak. This being said, the 26 year old goaltender let in 3 for 34 shots, a lower than average save percentage than he is used to (his average being .926).

Tonight’s game is expected to be just as close as game one, but regardless of the outcome in game one, the Blues are still favored to take game two.

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