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Blues even up series with Sharks

AP

After the San Jose Sharks relied on a usual suspect to tie the game, the St. Louis Blues took back momentum with a tiebreaking goal from a most unlikely source.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo scored his first career postseason goal late in the second period that helped the Blues overcome another big game from San Jose’s Logan Couture with a 4-2 victory over the Sharks on Monday night that tied the Western Conference final at one game apiece.

“It’s not really my game but it’s something that goes in the back of your mind,” said Bortuzzo, who had scored only 14 goals in 365 regular season and playoff games before breaking through against the Sharks.

“Jaden (Schwartz) will remember, I told him if I do score a playoff goal you’ll like the celebration. You never can plan what you’re going to do. It’s just a rush of emotion. It’s an intense game out there. That’s all it is, emotion coming to the surface.”

After the surprising goal, Bortuzzo pumped his fist, let out a yell, and held his arms out wide for the embrace from his appreciative teammates, who needed the momentum back in their favor after Couture scored twice in a span of less than two minutes to erase a 2-0 deficit for San Jose.

Schwartz, Vince Dunn and Oskar Sundqvist also scored and Jordan Binnington made 23 saves to send the Blues home for Game 3 on Wednesday night tied in the series.

“Pretty solid game tonight,” Binnington said. “We had a good start, we were disciplined. When they tied it up, we stayed composed. That’s really important, this time of year especially. We enjoyed the moment and competed hard until the end.”

Couture scored his goals in a span of 1:59, giving him an NHL-leading 13 this postseason but the Sharks couldn’t get anything else and lost their third straight Game 2 after winning the series opener. Martin Jones made 21 saves.

“The story of the game was we didn’t have enough participants across the board,” coach Peter DeBoer said.