The St. Louis Blues offense finally came to life this past Saturday to even their Western Conference Final series against the San Jose Sharks at two games apiece.
With the ever-so crucial Game 5 showdown headed back to St. Louis this Monday, can the Blues sustain their momentum from Game 4’s victory and put on a great show for the home crowd, or will the Sharks rise up to the challenge once more on foreign ice?
Let’s break down this thrilling matchup below. And for a quick break from all the frantic postseason action in the sporting world, check out our special feature on the Top 10 WAGs of Soccer Players right after this.
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San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues Game 5 Preview
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis
When: Monday, May 23, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCS
Betting on the San Jose Sharks
Martin Jones picked the worst time to suffer a postseason meltdown. Jones allowed four goals to the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 on Monday – all before the halfway mark of the contest – as he and the San Jose Sharks got butchered at home, 6-3.
Joe Pavelski even scored his league-leading 10th goal of the playoffs that evening, but the four-goal lead by the Blues proved to be too insurmountable at that point in the game.
Meanwhile, Brent Burns was held scoreless after five shots-on-goal. That was also the same number of shots taken by Tomas Hertl, who scored a pair of goals in Game 3, and he too failed to find the back of the net.
Still, San Jose possesses a very potent offense thanks to the NHL’s top three performers this postseason. Pavelski, Burns and Logan Couture have combined for 56 points in the playoffs, and the trio could regain their scoring momentum in Game 5 back in St. Louis.
Let’s not forget that the Sharks had the best road record in the regular season. And although they’ve gone just 4-4 away from the Bay Area this postseason, they’ve still won five of the last seven games held at Scottrade Center, and could find themselves back to their normal road-warrior ways.
Betting on the St. Louis Blues
Recovering from back-to-back shutout losses is no small feat, but the St. Louis Blues did just that on Saturday, and in emphatic fashion.
The Blues managed to score in bunches by way of a couple of often-overlooked players on their roster that night. Troy Brouwer scored a couple of goals via power play, and Kyle Brodziak pitched in with two of his own as well – one being a short-handed goal all the more.
But perhaps the bigger story of the evening is the return of goalie Jake Allen, who came up with 31 saves in Game 3 in his first start for St. Louis since March 26 of the regular season. Although he did give up three goals to San Jose down the stretch, it also didn’t negate the fact that Allen held off the Sharks’ furious third-period rally where the Blues were outshot 16-5.
Unfortunately for the Blues, the victory on Saturday did come with a price, as both team captain David Backes and Robby Fabbri absorbed huge hits near in the first period of Game 4 and never returned to the ice.
The potential absences of Backes and Fabbri in Game 5 this Monday will certainly be pivotal as the two have already combined for 27 points in the playoffs for St. Louis. The former, in particular, has racked up six assists and seven goals this postseason, with two of those goals coming in overtime. That being said, the Sharks will look to seize this golden opportunity of upending a battered St. Louis squad.
The Sharks take advantage of the wounded Blues to emerge victorious, 4-2, and regain the series lead.
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