Game Report: Blues 4, Sharks 1
By Nicholas Hand
After having their five-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday in Anaheim, the Blues got back to their recent road success with a convincing win Thursday night in San Jose over the Sharks.
Two third-period goals by Vladimir Tarasenko along with goals from Scottie Upshall and Zach Sanford provided the Blues offense while Carter Hutton made 19 saves.
It was a complete performance by the Blues on the second leg of the back-to-back scenario, allowing the Sharks just 20 shots on goal while firing 36 shots on net.
The Blues struck first on Upshall’s eighth of the season with 3:20 remaining in the first period. Upshall intercepted a Sharks pass and led an odd-man rush in which he fired a shot under Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell for the 1-0 lead.
The Sharks responded just 1:05 later when a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot deflected off a Blues skate in front of the net and past Hutton to even the score at one.
The Blues took the lead on Sanford’s third goal of the season and his first with the Blues since he was acquired in late February in the Kevin Shattenkirk deal with Washington.
A Jay Bouwmeester shot went wide behind the net with the rebound coming to the side of the crease. Sanford threaded the puck into the top of the net from a tough angle for the 2-1 lead.
Ivan Barbashev also assisted on the goal at 5:49 of the second period.
The Blues took a commanding 3-1 lead at 8:34 of the third period on Tarasenko’s 33rd goal of the season.
With the Blues on the power play, Alex Pietrangelo and Alexander Steen had a passing sequence at the top of the offensive zone with Steen firing a puck that hit off the crossbar. Tarasenko was able to get enough of the rebound with an open net to flutter the puck over the line for the two-goal lead.
Tarasenko added an empty-net goal with 1:50 remaining in regulation for the 4-1 final and his 34th of the season.
The Blues are four points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference and two points behind the Nashville Predators for the third playoff seed in the Central Division. The Kings and the Predators also won on Thursday night. All three teams have 12 games remaining in their regular season schedule.
The Blues continue their five-game road trip on Saturday night against the Arizona Coyotes.