Game 5 Update – The St. Louis edged the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Friday night to even the Western Conference Final series at two games apiece.
Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev scored in the first period for the Blues, with rookie goalie Jordan Binnington saving 29 shots.
Barbashev gave the Blues the lead after just 35 seconds when his shot deflected off of Gustav Nyquist’s stick and into the net.
Tomas Hertl scored the solitary goal for the Sharks, with Martin Jones making 20 stops.
Star defenseman Erik Karlsson is a major concern for the Sharks, having been sidelined during part of the third period with an undisclosed injury.
Karlsson missed the vast majority of the Sharks’ regular-season games with leg and groin ailments and it is as yet unclear if the current issue is related.
Game 5 switches back to San Jose on Sunday.
Game 4 Update – The San Jose Sharks rallied to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-4 on Wednesday night to regain the home-ice advantage in this NHL Playoffs series and take up a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Final.
The winning goal was marred in controversy though, as Erik Karlsson scored 5:23 into overtime after the officials missed a hand pass by Timo Meier.
Joe Thornton scored twice for San Jose Sharks, and Martin Jones made 28 saves
David Perron had two goals for St. Louis Blues, with Vladimir Tarasenko and and Alexander Steen also also scoring. Colton Parayko had three assists and Jordan Binnington made 27 stops.
The teams will play Game 4 on Friday night in St. Louis.
Game 3 Update – St. Louis Blues had a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night to tie the Western Conference Final at one game apiece and to claim the home-ice advantage from the Sharks going into Game 3.
Jaden Schwartz, Vince Dunn, Robert Bortuzzo and Oskar Sundqvist scored for the Blues, while rookie goalie Jordan Binnington made 23 saves.
Defenseman Bortuzzo was an unlikely match-winner for the Blues, having only previously scored 14 goals in 365 regular season and NHL playoff games. Schwartz has nine goals in the playoffs after scoring just 11 in the regular season.
San Jose’s Logan Couture scored twice in a span of less than two minutes to draw the Sharks level as they rallied from a 2-0 deficit. Couture’s goals gave him an NHL-leading 13 in total this postseason. Martin Jones made 21 saves.
The Blues will be on home-ice in St. Louis for Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Game 2 Update – The San Jose Sharks began the Western Conference Finals with a convincing 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
Both these teams had tough roads to the Western Conference Finals, with the Sharks needing to win a pair of seven-game series and the Blues required six and seven games respectively, including a double-overtime win in Game 7 against the Dallas Stars in the second round.
The Blues turned the puck over too frequently, with 12 giveaways and rookie goalie Jordan Binnington was left exposed by his defense on numerous occasions.
Logan Couture and Timo Meier both scored two goals and an assist apiece, with Kevin Labanc and Joe Pavelski adding the other goals. Martin Jones made 28 saves for the Blues.
The Blues goals came from Joel Edmundson, Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Bozak. Binnington made 19 saves.
Game 2 is set for Monday night at the Shark Tank.
The San Jose Sharks meet the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Finals, with the Sharks having home-ice advantage in this series.
The Sharks have had to come through two seven-game series to reach this stage, just edging past the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round, then the Colorado Rapids in the second round.
It’s not been a great deal easier for the Blues though, who took six games to see off the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, then were taken the distance by the Dallas Stars in the second round.
The Sharks are at 18.5% on the power play, with the Blues on a similar level at 17.1%. The Sharks are tied for the postseason lead with 10 power-play goals, although four of them came in the same incredible five-minute period against the Golden Knights. They only scored two power-play goals in seven games against the Avalanche.
Rookie goalie Jordan Binnington has excelled since given an opportunity to play by the Blues, while Martin Jones has lacked consistency at times for the Sharks.
San Jose Sharks vs St. Louis Blues Betting Lines & Pick
Any Sharks v Blues betting predictions for this series will need to take account of the Sharks having the home-ice advantage and that both these teams have proven themselves to be capable of digging in and taking it to the wire.
The Sharks are the tips on account of having the home ice advantage going into the series, but this looks destined to be a tight and closely fought playoff. A 4-3 win for San Jose could be available at attractive betting odds here.
Pick: Series Score – San Jose Sharks to win 4-3