Event Name: San Jose Sharks VS St. Louis Blues
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2017
Location: SAP Center: 525 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
Hosted by: San Jose Sharks Hockey
Tuesday night, the San Jose Sharks faced the St. Louis Blues, a team that played it’s first season 50 years ago in ’67-’68 and made the Stanley cup finals for their first 3 seasons in a row. But they would also get swept all 3 seasons and have yet to win just one game in the Stanley Cup Finals. Last year they made to the conference finals before losing to the Sharks in 6 games. Led on offense by Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen and Jaden Schwartz, and on defense by Alex Pietrangelo, the Blues look to right the ship before heading into the playoffs.
The Blues came into the game fourth in the Central Division with 77 points, while the Sharks continue to hold first in the Pacific Division with 91 points. Prior to tonight, both St. Louis and San Jose have won 4 of their last 5 games. This season St. Louis has won only 16 of their 33 road games, while San Jose continues to railroad visitors, having now won 23 of their 35 home games. The Blues beat the Sharks in their both previous matchups and outscored the Sharks 7-2. Tonight the sharks look to prevent a season sweep.
Both teams started the game off evenly exchanging just a few shots in the first half of the period with neither team giving up any real scoring opportunities. The Sharks first real opportunity came twelve minutes into the period when Burns made a cross-crease pass to Hansen for a one timer which went wide. With just over three minutes left in the period, Burns’s stretch pass in the neutral zone got blocked by Scottie Upshall (10), who skated into the top of the right circle and fired a bullet using Paul Martin (7) as a screen, beating Martin Dell (30) to his right and giving the Blues a 1-0 lead. That lead did not last long, as just a minute later DeMelo made D-to-D pass to Vlasic on the left boards who took a hard shot which deflected off of a Blues defender and into the net, tying the score at 1-1 as the period ended.
Just over five minutes into the second period, Jay Bouwmeester (19) spun around in the right circle and took a shot towards the net that deflected off of a skate and bounced off the backboards onto the tape of Zach Sanford (82) to the right of Dell, where he roofed it from in close behind Dell giving the Blues a 2-1 lead. Half way into the period, Joel Edmunson (6) lost his cool after being checked hard into the backboards by Chris Tierney (50) and took an interference penalty putting the Sharks on their first power play which the Sharks were unable to capitalize on. With about five minutes remaining in the period Reaves took some liberties with Marcus Sorrensen (20) causing Michael Haley (38) to drop the gloves. It was a physical period with no love lost between the two sides – hard feelings had definitely been carried over from last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup. In the end the Blues would exit the period leading 2-1 and outshooting the Sharks 20-11.
The third period wasn’t much better for the Sharks, as a Dylan DeMelo (74) penalty for tripping at 8:22 set the Blues up with the power play. Just seconds in, Alexander Steen (20) took a shot from the top of the right circle that bounced off of Dell’s glove and the cross bar and settled in the crease to his right. With Dell out of position, Tarasenko was able to tap the puck in for an easy goal, giving St. Louis a 3-1 lead. With the Sharks net empty, Colton Parayko (55), shot the puck towards the net. Burns tried to settle it but lost control of the puck, and Tarasenko was there to tap it home giving the Blues a 4-1 victory.
The Sharks led in hits (32-25), blocked shots (29-12), takeaways (13-11) and giveaways (23-18), while the Blues led in shots (36-20) and face-offs (53%-47%).
The St. Louis Blues swept the San Jose Sharks in the 3 game season series. They also outscored the Sharks 11-3. Its definitely a matchup the Sharks coaching staff will be taking a closer look at come playoff time.
Vlasic scored the only Sharks goal, his 5th of the season. Justin Braun led all skaters with 5 blocked shots and was tied for the game lead with 4 hits. Micheal Haley fought Ryan Reaves and was tied for the game lead in hits with Jannik Hansen. Tomas Hertl lead the Sharks with 10 face-off wins and a 67% win percentage in the dot. Dylan DeMelo had an assist and now has 7 points in 21 games.
San Jose continues their regular season Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks.
INDTVUSA Staff Writer