Robert Bortuzzo scored the tie breaking goal late in the second period for the St. Louis Blues in their 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at SAP Center.
The defenseman gave the Blues a 3-2 lead with a backhand from the bottom of the right hash marks at 16:34 after Logan Couture had scored twice for the hosts in 1:59 earlier in the period. It was Bortuzzo‘s first Stanley Cup Playoff goal in 31 games.
Speaking to the media postgame he said, “It’s not really my game, but it’s definitely something that goes in the back of your mind… It was just a rush of emotion.” He has 14 goals in 335 NHL regular-season games.
Couture‘s second goal was his 100th playoff point with the Sharks (47g, 53a). He trails Patrick Marleau (120pts) and Joe Thornton (112) in San Jose history. The forward is one goal away from tying Joe Pavelski‘s Sharks record for most goals in a postseason. Pavelski had 14 in 2016, when San Jose lost the Stanley Cup Final in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jaden Schwartz, Vince Dunn and Oskar Sundqvist also scored for St. Louis.
The line of Bortuzzo, Alex Pietrangelo and defensemen Dunn and Joel Edmundson combined for five points (2g, 3a).
The Blues defensemen have 38pts (7g, 31a) in these playoffs, tying with San Jose for the NHL lead. Pietrangelo has also tied the Blues record for points by a defenseman in a single postseason with 12 (2g, 10a) with an assist on Sundqvist‘s goal (Joe Micheletti, 1981, Jeff Brown, 1990 and 1991, and Al MacInnis, 1999).
Jordan Binnington made 24 saves for the Blues, who improved to 6-2 on the road this playoffs. The rookie goalie is 4-2 with a .932 save percentage in the playoffs following a loss.
His counterpart Martin Jones made 21 saves for the San Jose, who lost Game 2 after winning Game 1 for the third consecutive series.
“Every series, we get a great first game and the second kind of a little bit struggling,” said San Jose forward Tomas Hertl. “It’s still fine, but we have to do better, we can’t play like that.”
The visitors have outscored opponents 13-3 on the road in the third period this postseason, including 11-2 in six wins.
Game 3 is in St. Louis on Wednesday, May 15.
Sharks v Blues – Wednesday, May 15 (8pm – NBCSN)
ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN