Instant Replay: Blues batter Sharks 6-3, even series 2-2


Instant Replay: Blues batter Sharks 6-3, even series 2-2


SAN JOSE – Turns out a goalie change can, apparently, spark a team’s offense.

After getting shut out in back-to-back playoff games for the first time in franchise history, the Blues exploded for six goals on Saturday at SAP Center, laying a beat down on the Sharks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, 6-3.

Goalie Jake Allen, making his first playoff start of the year in place of Brian Elliott, made 31 saves. Conversely, Martin Jones was pulled for the first time after allowing four goals on 19 shots.

The series, which shifts back to St. Louis for Game 5 on Monday, is now tied at two games apiece. San Jose saw its six-game home winning streak abruptly halted.

Troy Brouwer and Kyle Brodziak each scored twice in leading the Blues.

Brouwer got it going in the first, finishing off some good St. Louis puck movement on a power play. He shoveled in a Robby Fabbri pass with Brent Burns off on a tripping minor at 6:14.

Later in the first, Burns’ defense partner, Paul Martin, turned the puck over to a pressuring Fabbri in the defensive zone. Fabbri eventually got the puck back and was denied on an incredible Jones stick save, but Jori Lehtera was in front to hammer in the loose puck at 10:11.

San Jose had a number of early odd-man rushes, including chances by Joonas Donskoi, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski, but couldn’t finish one off against Allen, who was making his first start since April 3.

The Sharks killed off a long Blues power play for nearly three minutes to start the middle frame, including 48 seconds of a five-on-three, but couldn’t gain any momentum from it.

Instead, a careless Joe Thornton turnover on a Sharks power play led to an odd man rush the other way, and Brodziak whirred it through at 6:09 to increase St. Louis’ lead to 3-0.

Brodziak got his second goal at 10:11 after Roman Polak was pressured into a turnover, chasing Jones in favor of James Reimer. St. Louis took its 4-0 lead to the dressing room after two.

San Jose attempted to make it interesting in the third, when Pavelski tipped in a Thornton dish to the front of the net at 1:05, but Brouwer’s second power play marker on a tip from the slot restored the four-goal cushion for the visitors less than four minutes later.

Chris Tierney’s goal at 6:57 of the third period brought the Sharks back to within 5-2, but that’s all they would muster until Alex Pietrangelo’s empty netter with 4:21 left in regulation. Melker Karlsson’s score with 3:32 left capped the scoring on a play in which Joel Edmundson slipped it into his own net.

Special teams

San Jose went 0-for-5 on the power play, managing just two shots on goal, while surrendering its second shorthanded score of the playoffs.

The Blues were 2-for-4, as the Sharks allowed multiple power play goals-against for the first time in eight games.

The Sharks are 2-for-15 in the series on the power play, while St. Louis is 3-for-13.

In goal

Allen improved to 3-4 in his playoff career, playing for the first time since April 3. He had come on in relief of Elliott twice in the previous five games, including Game 3 against San Jose.

Jones fell to 10-6 in the playoffs, while his shutout streak ended at 153:57 on Brouwer’s power play goal. He had made 62 straight saves since the second period of Game 1.

Reimer was playing for the first time since April 5, and saw his first playoff action since 2013 with Toronto. He allowed one goal on seven shots.


The Blues made just one change, swapping Carl Gunnarsson in and Robert Bortuzzo out on defense. Scottie Upshall (upper body) missed his second straight.

Pavelski’s 10th goal set a new franchise record for most goals in one playoff season.

The Blues' David Backes did not play after the first period, but remained on the bench.

Up next

Game 5 is on Monday at 5 p.m. in St. Louis. The Sharks are 4-4 on the road in the playoffs, while the Blues are 4-5 at Scottrade Center.

San Jose is 5-9 when a series is tied at two games apiece, including a seven-game series win over Nashville in the second round.

2020 NHL All-Star Game live stream: How to watch tournament online

NBC Sports

2020 NHL All-Star Game live stream: How to watch tournament online

The players put on a show at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in St. Louis on Friday night. On Saturday, they'll go head-to-head in the 2020 NHL All-Star Game at Enterprise Center.

Sharks forward Tomas Hertl didn't win any events on Friday, but he'll be one of the talks of the town heading into Saturday's exhibition due to the stunt he pulled against Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington in the Bud Light NHL Save Streak competition. It's unlikely he'll have a Justin Bieber mask stowed away under his jersey during Saturday's All-Star Game, but based on his personality, it wouldn't come as a shock if he had any other surprises in store.

[RELATED: Sharks' Hertl brings fun to NHL skills event with Bieber mask]

As San Jose's lone All-Star representative, Hertl will team up with the other members of the Pacific Division squad in an attempt to claim divisional supremacy over the rest of the league. The 2020 NHL All-Star Game will feature a two-round, three-game tournament in which the league's four divisions will square off. Each 20-minute game will be played 3-on-3, with teams changing sides at the 10-minute mark. Any game tied after 20 minutes of play will be decided by shootout.

In Round One, the two Eastern Conference divisions (Atlantic and Metropolitan) will face off, while the two Western Conference divisions (Central and Pacific) will battle in Round Two. The two winners then advance to Round Three where they'll face each other to determine the overall champion.

Here's how to watch the 2020 NHL All-Star Game online:

When: Saturday, Jan. 25, at 5 p.m. PT
Live Stream:

Sharks' Tomas Hertl brings the fun to NHL All-Star Skills Competition


Sharks' Tomas Hertl brings the fun to NHL All-Star Skills Competition

Leave it to Tomas Hertl to put a smile on everyone's face.

The self-described "smiley guy" is the Sharks' lone representative at NHL All-Star Weekend in St. Louis, and he didn't take long to show the Enterprise Center crowd why he fills that role so well during the All-Star Skills Competition on Friday night.

Hertl participated in two events on the evening, and got the crowd on its feet both times. But it was his first event -- the Bud Light NHL Save Streak -- during which he created one of the highlights of the entire night.

The Save Streak competition pits goalies against one another to see how many consecutive breakaway saves they can make. Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy held the lead with nine consecutive stops with only the hometown Jordan Binnington left to go. The Blues goaltender recently challenged musician Justin Bieber to a breakaway competition on Twitter, in which he said he would die his hair platinum blonde if Bieber scored at least once on 10 breakaway attempts.

Clearly, Hertl was paying attention, because he had a surprise for Binnington on his own breakaway attempt.

See for yourself:

Hertl didn't score on his hilarious attempt, but it's tough to blame him for two reasons. For one -- and perhaps most importantly -- he had a gigantic Justin Bieber mask over his entire face. Secondly, Binnington would go on to stop six more shots in a row after Hertl to win the event with a streak of 10.

[RELATED: Sharks' Karlsson named to NHL's All-Decade Second Team]

The 26-year-old forward wasn't done for the night, though. He participated in the next event -- the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting -- as well.

The Accuracy Shooting competition involves a series of shooters attempting to hit five targets on a digital board. Hertl might have the best mits on the Sharks, and he wasted no time showing them off in St. Louis, knocking down four targets on his first four shot attempts. The crowd got louder and louder as it appeared Hertl might complete a perfect round in very short order, but unfortunately, the crescendo had to wait. Hertl struggled to hit the final target, requiring nine more attempts to close it out. Carolina's Jacob Slavvin ultimately won the event, hitting all five targets in only 9.505 seconds, considerably faster than Hertl's time of 17.161.

So, Hertl wasn't victorious in any one event at the Skills Competition, but he undoubtedly will be remembered as one of the big winners of the night. After all, as he likes to say, "Fun must be always."