SAN JOSE, CA – The Sharks could smell blood in the water this afternoon.
The St. Louis Blues (36-25-6) felt the loss of Vladimir Tarasenko from the lineup today in a 3-2 overtime loss against the San Jose Sharks (40-19-8). The Blues grabbed five of six possible points in the Golden State this week. Wins against Anaheim and Los Angeles provided the first four. In the final game of the trip, it was the goaltending of Jake Allen that would keep the team alive through the majority of the game to earn the overtime point.
The Blues and Sharks wrestled to find open ice 5-on-5 for any great chances early in the game; however, penalties on both sides would open things up. A minor from Edmundson gave the Sharks’ special teams a chance to operate. However, the top road penalty kill kept the game scoreless.
The Blues went to the power play shortly after when Marcus Sorenson took a cross-checking minor on Mackenzie MacEachern. St. Louis got an early goal midway through the opening 20 when Pat Maroon capitalized on a rebound for his first goal in 25 games.
His fifth goal of the season, assisted by Parayko and Dunn, would put the Blues up 1-0. Joel Edmundson, however, took another penalty late in the opening period and Timo Meier, who had goals in three straight games, would even the scoreboard for his team in the dying seconds of the powerplay. His 25th goal was assisted by Thornton and Heed to tie it up 1-1 at 16:23.
Timo Meier wasn’t finished there: after some defensive miscues by the Blues in the final minute, they saw Tomas Hertl retaining the puck, Logan Couture feeding Meier right in front of Allen, and Meier scoring on a nifty backhander. The goal was Meier’s second of the game. The Sharks led 2-1 with just 27 seconds left to play in the period. The Blues would head into the locker room down a goal and being outshot 10-8.
The Blues looked to get back into the game, but the frustrating defensive pressure of the Sharks wore them down quickly. The pressure forced them into messy turnovers and desperate stretch passes. The last line of defense for the Blues stood tall as Jake Allen stopped shot after shot to keep his team above water.
With a costly penalty on the Sharks towards the very end of 40, the Blues found more late-period magic with a power play goal from Brayden Schenn. There were just 3 seconds left in the period when he scored.
The Blues would head off the ice tied 2-2 and shooting evenly with San Jose, 6-6.
The Sharks came out in full force for the third period, and the Blues (save for Allen) just couldn’t find the answer. San Jose outskated and outplayed St. Louis in almost every facet, but Allen stood on his head to keep the puck out of the twine. The Blues, on the other hand, were clearly out of gas: the Sharks outshot the Blues 15-4, but neither found the net through the final stanza, and the game would require overtime.
The Blues, already getting away with a point, couldn’t find the Sharks number in overtime, and Kevin Labanc received a perfect feed through the Blues defenders. The Sharks would grab the overtime winner on the second shot of the 4th period. The final shot total was a dominant 33-19.
“It’s a tough road trip. It’s never easy coming into this building,” Forward Brayden Schenn told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch after the game. “Five out of six points, we’ll take it.”
“We know every point is crucial. We’ll definitely take the one point tonight against a really good team in a really tough building.” Jake Allen said to the media after the game.
The Sharks improved to 41-19-8 and look to continue their 4-game winning streak against Minnesota on Monday. The Blues fell to 36-25-7 and will try to rebound against the Coyotes on Tuesday. Ways to follow those games will be provided by:
ARI@STL: FSAZ, FSMW, KTAR 620, KMOX 1120
SJS@MIN: NBCSN, KFOX 98.5, KFAN 100.3