It’s a pivotal Game 5 when the puck drops on the Sharks and Blues at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis for the Western Conference Final on Monday.
San Jose looks to continue its penchant of solid road play to take a 3-2 series lead back home with it for a potential Game 6 clincher, while St. Louis hopes a return home will help it take its second lead of the series.
These teams split Games 1 and 2 in St. Louis and Games 3 and 4 in San Jose. The Blues took Game 1, 2-1, while the Sharks scored back-to-back shutouts in Game 2 (4-0) and Game 3 (3-0). In Game 4, St. Louis’ offense came to life for a 6-3 victory on Saturday.
Kyle Brodziak and Troy Brouwer each scored twice to power the Blues offense in Game 4. It was Brodziak’s first two goals of the postseason and Brouwer’s sixth and seventh tallies. Jori Lehtera (3) and Alex Pietrangelo (2) also lit the lamp for St. Louis.
Brouwer is now tied with David Backes and Vladimir Tarasenko for the team lead in goals. Rookie Robby Fabbri picked up his team-leading 11th assist to give him a club-best 14 points this postseason.
The victory wasn’t without its negatives as Fabbri and Backes are both questionable for Game 5 with undisclosed injuries suffered in Game 4.
“We’re going to dress the same lineup for warmup that we did the last game,” Blues coach Ken Hitchock told NHL.com. “We had two extra forwards in there, one extra [defenseman]. No changes. All those players are there.”
For the Sharks, Joe Pavelski set a franchise record with his team-leading 10th goal of the playoffs in Game 4, while Chris Tierney (4) and Melker Karlsson (3) also found the twine for San Jose.
Logan Couture has been a force for the Sharks this postseason, leading the way with 20 points and 13 helpers. He’s hoping the team will bounce back after a tough loss like it has all spring long.
“It’s an opportunity for us individually and as a team to go out and play the way we expect ourselves to play,” Couture said via NHL.com. “We’re going to need to be better and I’m sure they’re going to want to bring the same game they had in Game 4. It’s up to us to match it and be better than them.”
Martin Jones will also look to get back on top of his game after allowing four goals on 19 shots and being pulled in favor of James Reimer, who yielded one goal on seven shots. Jones is 10-6 in the playoffs with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.
The Blues are likely to stick with Jake Allen, who stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced in Game 4 after taking over for Brian Elliott. Allen has appeared in three games in these playoffs and has a 1.64 GAA and a .930 save percentage.
Game Details & Live Stream
Matchup: Sharks at Blues Western Conference Final Game 5
Time: 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CDT)
Venue: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo.
Radio: San Jose (KFOX 98.5); St. Louis (KMOX 1120)
Series: Tied 2-2.
Predictions: Our predictions for this series can be viewed here.
Betting Odds: The latest betting odds for this series can be found here.
Watch Online: This game can be live streamed for free here.
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