Breaking News

Schwartz Hat Trick Leads Blues Past Sharks in Game 5

Jaden Schwartz scores one of his three goals in a 5-0 win over the San Jose Sharks in game five of the Western Conference Finals. (Getty Images)

San Jose, CA – One wondered what would happen when the Western Conference Finals resumed with game five on Sunday in the ‘Shark Tank.’ Would the Sharks bounce back after dropping game four 2-1 in St. Louis? Would the Blues build upon the momentum from the game four win?

Well, the answer was a resounding ‘NO’ in the case of the Sharks bouncing back and an even more resounding ‘YES’ in regards to the Blues and the momentum carrying over. St. Louis handed the Sharks a 5-0 thrashing behind Jaden Schwartz’ second hat trick of the playoffs. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal, and two assists and Jordan Binnington stopped every shot he faced for his first career playoff shutout.

Schwartz became the first player in Blues history ever to score two hat tricks in the postseason. Jordan Binnington was the first Blues rookie goalie ever to record a shutout in playoff history. For the Blues, it was more like shooting fish in a barrel than swimming in a shark tank.

FIRST PERIOD

This game was never in question as the Blues jumped on the board first with a goal by Oskar Sundqvist at the 5:50 mark of the first period. Sundqvist was in the right place at the right time and an errant pass by Sharks defenseman, Erik Karlsson caromed off the boards onto Sunny’s stick. His slapshot beat Martin Jones cleanly, and the Blues were up 1-0.

San Jose did outshoot the Blues in the opening frame 11-4, but it was more shots on goal than they would manage in the remaining two periods as St. Louis went on to win the shots on goal battle 36-10 in the final two periods.

SECOND PERIOD

The Blues first goal was unassisted, and the next two were as well. Schwartz stretched the lead to 2-0 when the Sharks goalie handed him the puck. It was quite possibly the easiest goal Schwartz has ever scored as the net was wide open and he was in point blank range.

Vladimir Tarasenko added a goal after he was awarded a penalty shot from a desperation trip by Brent Burns on a clear breakaway. Vladi put it top shelf over the glove of Jones and the score was 3-0. It was another first as no Blues player had ever scored on a penalty shot in the NHL playoffs.

THIRD PERIOD

Schwartz added two more goals in the final period as the Blues were in complete control.

There were a few hats on the ice in San Jose, and even more on the ice back in St. Louis at the watch party in Enterprise Center where fans celebrated the big win.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The physical play of the Blues is starting to wear down the Sharks. Today, that wear and tear surfaced in the form of injuries. San Jose suffered several injuries to some key players in this game.

Defenseman Erik Karlsson missed several games in the regular season with a groin injury and appeared to have re-injured it in game 4. He played limited minutes in game 5, not skating in the final 7 minutes of the second and not even on the bench for the 3rd.

Tomas Hertl left did not return to the bench for the 3rd period, and Captain Joe Pavelski only played one shift in the third period. He left the Sharks bench after taking a hit from Alex Pietrangelo.

One of the things we wrote about in our series preview was the undisciplined play of Evander Kane. He came into this series having amassed 45 penalty minutes (PIM) in the 2019 playoffs. With only one minor penalty through 4 games against the Blues in this series, it looked as if he had flipped a switch, until today. He finished the game with 14 minutes of penalties with a goaltender interference call, a slashing call, and game misconduct, which led to an early shower for him. Just when you thought he was lost, he found himself once again.

The Blues have a chance to close out the series on home ice in game six on Tuesday. A win would send them to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1970 to face the same team they met the last time, the Boston Bruins. Let’s go Blues!

SHARE THIS ARTICLE:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *