Last night, the San Jose Sharks had a chance to go up 3-1 in the Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues. But, the Blues were came out playing with much more urgency and grit than we’ve seen this series and St. Louis cruised to a 6-3 win in San Jose.
The first period leaned more in the Blues favor, but the Sharks still made it a decent period. Both teams were getting chances, but the Blues opened up the scoring just over six minutes into the game. Troy Brouwer scored on the power-play when Brent Burns was sent to the box. Robby Fabbri had the puck below the goal line and passed it to a mostly open Brouwer, who one-timed it home through Martin Jones‘s five-hole. Minutes later, Jori Lehtera made it 2-0 Blues. After Jones made a beautiful stick-save on a Blues player, the rebound popped right in front of the net and Lehtera came skating in and sent it home to an empty net. At the very end of the period, the Blues almost made it 0-3 but Brent Burns stopped the puck from going in with his stick and it stayed 0-3.
Things did not improve in the second period. Six minutes into the middle frame, the Sharks went on the man advantage. Unfortunately, they gave up two 2-on-1 rushes to the Blues. Who were short-handed. On the first try the Blues couldn’t get a shot on goal because of a Sharks player’s hustle. On the second one, they capitalized. Kyle Brodziak took a cross-ice pass from Jaden Schwartz and beat Jones. Then 10:11 into the second, St. Louis chased Martin Jones from net. It was Brodziak again, one-timing it past Jones from the right faceoff circle. After that, James Reimer came in to play his first game of the 2016 playoffs.
The Sharks made a small push in the third. Ninety-five seconds in to the period, Joe Pavelski, who was open in front of Allen, tipped a beautiful pass from Joe Thornton into the net to put San Jose onto the board. But, the Blues would respond just minutes later as Troy Brouwer scored his second of the game. He tipped a shot from Alex Steen and it beat Reimer on a Blues PP. The Sharks didn’t go away though and Chris Tierney scored after Allen couldn’t handle his own rebound, 6:57 into the third. The Sharks pulled Reimer with around five minutes left in the game and the Blues scored an empty netter from Alex Pietrangelo to make it 2-6. Less than a minute later, Sharks forward Melker Karlsson scored to make it 3-6. A pass seemed to go off his skate and a Blues player accidentally knocked it into his own net. Oh and Brenden Dillon got into a fight with Carl Gunnarsson with a couple minutes left in the game. I like the passion Dillon. Let the Blues know the Sharks aren’t quitting.
Three Stars of the Game:
First: Kyle Brodziak (2 Goals)
Second: Troy Brouwer (2 Goals)
Third: Chris Tierney (1 Goal)
The Sharks didn’t play a full sixty minutes tonight, and it cost them the game. A small third period comeback was a good sign, showing the Blues that Jake Allen could be scored on. But, now the series shifts back to St. Louis and it’s tied. San Jose will need to come out much stronger next game if they don’t want to be down 2-3. Game 5 will be on Monday, May 23rd at 5 p.m. Pacific. Let’s go and take the lead again boys!