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|Blues Blank Sharks 3-0, Even Series at 1
|ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak combined for a shutout, the San Jose Sharks put themselves in an early hole when Marc-Edouard Vlasic tapped the puck into his own net, and the St. Louis Blues evened the first-round series at a game apiece with a 3-0 victory Saturday night.
Vladimir Sobotka was credited with a goal on the first shot of the game after Vlasic's gaffe. David Backes and Andy McDonald also scored, and T.J. Oshie had two assists in the Blues' first playoff victory since 2004.
Halak and Elliott combined for 15 shutouts in the regular season, tying a modern NHL record, and won the Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals allowed. Elliott was quite the luxury as a backup after setting a modern NHL record with a 1.56 goals-against average and nine of the shutouts.
Antti Niemi made 29 saves for the seventh-seeded Sharks, who were shut out in both regular-season meetings in St. Louis, with Halak and Elliott getting one apiece.
The game turned feisty at the finish, with Blues defenseman Roman Polak and Sharks defenseman Justin Braun tangling after the final horn.
Games 3 and 4 are in San Jose on Monday and Thursday nights.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)