The San Jose Sharks were hoping that home ice would be kind to them in the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. As it turns out, home ice isn't a good remedy for being overmatched. On Monday, for the first time in the best-of-seven first-round series, the matchup looked like the No. 2 seed-vs.-No. 7 seed contest that it actually is. The Sharks lost to the St. Louis Blues by a final score of 4-3, but the game was not as close as that score would indicate. The Blues now take a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Sharks lived and died on the power play in this game. The Bluess struck first, as Patrik Berglund managed a power play goal at 14:31. Just two minutes later, the Sharks answered back with a power play goal of their own, as Brent Burns scored to tie things up, 1-1.
In the second period, the Blues pulled away for good at just 1:01, as Andy McDonald found the net.
The Blues stretched their lead to 3-1 at 10:06, as Jason Arnott scored on this power play goal.
At just 59 seconds into the final period, Alexander Steen put in the backbreaker goal for the Blues on another power play goal.
The Sharks cut the lead to 4-2 on a Colin White goal, but they had already run out of time at that point.
At 19:43, Logan Couture added one final goal as the Sharks went with the empty net and extra attacker, but would get no closer.
The Sharks looked completely lost for most of the game, allowing too many power plays on dumb penalties and generally being outplayed. After the Blues scored their quick go-ahead goal in the second period, the fight appeared to largely go out of the San Jose squad. They will need to dig deep if they hope to even up the series before it heads back to St. Louis.
For all news and information regarding the San Jose Sharks, please visit Fear the Fin. For updates and perspective on the St. Louis Blues, head on over to St. Louis Game Time. For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.