Blues move to brink of Cup final with win over Sharks


Whatever glimmer of hope the Sharks thought they saw in the early stages of Game 5 was snuffed out by the Blues' firehose of shots in the second period.

Schwartz added two goals in the third for his second hat trick this postseason, becoming the first player with two in one playoff run since Johan Franzen for Detroit in 2008.

San Jose also finished the game without Micheal Haley and Kane, who were assessed 10-minute misconducts for late altercations.

Despite all that - the fantastic win, the way the Blues dominated, the injuries racked up by the Sharks - this series is not over.

"For Game 6, the health of the players who didn't play in the third period is going to be topic No. 1", Baker said.

The Sharks were hit hard with the injury bug during the contest; at one point in the third period, Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson, Joonas Donskoi, and Tomas Hertl were all in the dressing room, leaving San Jose's bench shorthanded.

The Sharks managed to create some good chances in the first five minutes or so, but Jordan Binnington was up to the task.

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"We're close. We're very close right now", forward Patrick Maroon said. But only one of the season-extending wins was on the road, and it required goalie Martin Jones to make 58 saves when his team was outshot 59-29 by the Vegas Golden Knights.

San Jose is 0-6 this postseason when leading a series.

On Wednesday, San Jose headed to St. Louis for Game 3 of the West final, with the series tied one apiece. The Sharks will look to recover in St. Louis on Tuesday to force a Game 7 for the third straight series, but they could be without several important players. With a win, the Blues will advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.

The Sharks turned the five-minute power play into a four-goal explosion, and eventually outlasted Vegas 5-4 in overtime. This a tough offense to keep down two games in a row and we also note that they are 5-1 in their last six games after scoring two goals or less. When asked about how the league handles these apologies Bettman assured us everything was in safe hands stating "At times like these it's all hands on deck, you never want to be caught with your hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, and you never want things to get out of hand".

"For sure, we've been here before", DeBoer said of facing elimination. "We've got to do a better job of not allowing them to take control of the game that way".

It was an impressive rebound from a crushing Game 3 loss when the Blues allowed the tying goal with 1:01 left in regulation and then the victor in overtime after the officials failed to see a hand pass by San Jose that set up Erik Karlsson's goal.

"We've just got to regroup", DeBoer said. "Obviously, I'm having a lot of fun back here playing with this team". "So just pushing and keep fighting and be aggressive". Game 1 of Stanley Cup finals is May 27.