Sharks edge Predators, Backes leads Blues


The San Jose Sharks rallied past the Nashville Predators in the NHL play-offs to take a 2-0 series lead on Sunday.

Logan Couture had given the Sharks a second-period lead, but they needed a response after Mattias Ekholm levelled for the Predators.

Joe Pavelski delivered with his sixth goal of the play-offs with under three minutes remaining before Joe Thornton's empty-netter was cancelled out by Ryan Johansen in a 3-2 win for the Sharks.

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones played a key role, making 36 saves to lead his team to victory as they closed in on the Western Conference Finals.

David Backes scored a power-play goal in overtime to see the St Louis Blues overcome the Dallas Stars 4-3 in the Western Conference second round.

The Blues had led 3-1 through the first period after Patrik Berglund, Joel Edmundson and Troy Brouwer struck after Alex Goligoski's opener.

But third-period goals from Mattias Janmark and Jamie Benn forced OT, the latter effort coming with under three minutes remaining.

Backes struck after 10 minutes, 58 seconds in the additional period to see the Blues level the series at 1-1.

It marked Backes' second OT goal in these play-offs, having also scored the winner against the Chicago Blackhawks in game one of their series.