It wasn’t easy, but the St. Louis Blues left the Shark Tank Monday night with a 2-1 lead in their series against the San Jose Sharks. The Blues jumped out to an early lead in the first period when center Patrik Berglund scored the game’s first goal on the power play at 14:31. The Blues power play would end up being the story of the night as they went 3 for 4 on the man advantage. “It was the power play. That’s where we created some momentum.” Berglund said. The Blues have scored 5 of their 9 goals in this series with the man advantage which is a stat any coach can love. “We rotated it well today.” Hitchcock said. “We had good composure down low.”
This win didn’t come easy for the Blues though. The Sharks peppered Blues Goaltender Brian Elliott with 29 shots over the course of 60 minutes and managed to get 3 by Elliott who made his starting debut in the playoffs for the Blues. This was the best game by the Sharks so far in the playoffs and judging by their attitude and physical play they aren’t going to go away quietly. One particular aspect that the Sharks were especially good at was 5 on 5 play scoring 2 of their 3 goals at even strength.
The Blues would draw first blood in the scoring column after center Patrik Berglund got a rebound off of a post shot from Blues winger Alex Steen on the game’s first power play.
San Jose defenseman Brent Burns would tie the game two minutes later grabbing a failed glove attempt by Blues defenseman Kris Russell.
Blues veteran forward Andy McDonald would put the Blues up 2-1 in the second period after tipping in a pass from center Patrik Berglund past Sharks Goaltender Antti Niemi.
Jason Arnott put the Blues up 3-1 later in the second on the Blues third power play of the game burying a one-timer from teammate Andy McDonald.
Alex Steen would score the Blues last goal of the night in the 3rd period on the power play firing a low shot through screened goaltender Antti Niemi.
Sharks Defenseman Colin White would bring his team within two at 16:58 into the third period on an even strength goal.
Logan Couture would score one final goal for the Sharks at 19:43 with Niemi pulled and the extra attacker.
What’s Next for the Blues?
In order for the Blues to continue moving forward in this series and come back home on Saturday with a 3-1 series lead, they’re going to have to improve their even strength play and assert themselves defensively. The Blues took a back seat in the 3rd period and allowed the Sharks to regain some momentum. Coach Ken Hitchcock expressed his feelings about the Blues overall play during the post game interview by saying “This isn’t taking anything away from the win, but we can play a lot better than we did and we will play a lot better.”
That’s all for now, see you Thursday night at puck drop.
quotes taken from NHL.com Associated Press and Lou Korac(www.twitter.com/lkorac10)