Julia Karron

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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues shutout Sharks 5-0 to win Game 5

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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues shutout Sharks 5-0 to win Game 5

The St. Louis Blues won a decisive Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks 5-0, pushing the Sharks to the brink of elimination.

The Blues are now one win away from their first Stanley Cup Final since the 1969-70 season, where they lost to the Boston Bruins in a sweep.

St. Louis started the scoring early when Oskar Sundqvist netted his second goal of the series in the first five minutes of the game. 

Jaden Schwartz then tallied his first goal of the game off a juicy rebound in front of Martin Jones to start the scoring in the second period. It was Schwartz's 10th goal of the playoffs, which tied him for third all-time in Blues history for goals in the postseason.

Vladimir Tarasenko added to the Blues lead off a penalty shot. He's the first player in Blues franchise history to score a penalty shot goal in the playoffs.

Schwartz then added two more goals in the third period for a hat-trick. The first came on a 5-on-3 power play advantage off a scramble in front of the net, and the second came from a backdoor one-timer pass from Tarasenko.

Schwartz now has 12 goals these playoffs, and it's his second hat-trick of the playoffs.

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington recorded 21 saves for a shutout, and he's the first rookie goalie to accomplish that feat for the Blues.


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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues pull even with Sharks with 2-1 win

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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues pull even with Sharks with 2-1 win

The St. Louis Blues' two-goal first period powered them to a win over the San Jose Sharks, and the series is now tied.

The Blues started with a goal 35 seconds into the game. Ivan Barbashev picked off a Brent Burns exit pass and flung it towards the net for the games opening goal. 

Barbashev is the second Blues player to score in the first minute of a game these playoffs. Jaden Schwartz is the other player.

Tyler Bozak scored the game-winning goal for the Blues on a power play off a scramble in front of the net.

The Sharks responded when Thomas Hertl poked the puck past the goal line after Jordan Binnington thought he had the puck covered. Hertl now has 10 goals this postseason for the Sharks, and the team now features 10 or more players to score 10+ goals in the playoffs for the second time in franchise history.

Binnington's 29 save performance gave him his 10th win of the playoffs, the most of any Blues goaltender in franchise history.


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Sunday Night Baseball will force Game of Thrones fan Sean Doolittle to miss the series finale

Sunday Night Baseball will force Game of Thrones fan Sean Doolittle to miss the series finale

The final episode of Game of Thrones airs Sunday night on HBO, and for Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, that means avoiding spoilers while the Nats play Sunday Night Baseball.

"I think right now as it stands unless we come up with a plan as a group I'll watch it on the train to New York," Doolittle explained. "I won't be on my phone for spoilers."

On top of that, he's been unable to watch the show with his wife, Eireann Dolan, thanks to repeated road trips on Sundays. "I think its fun whenever you're able to share that with your partner or your teammates," Doolittle said.

In a wide-ranging discussion with Todd Dybas on the Racing Presidents podcast, Doolittle said that he agrees with some fans that the ending to the hit show might have been rushed.

As a warning, this post contains spoilers from season eight.

"We talked about this the last time we did the recap about how the show, over the first seven seasons, it has a little bit of a slow burn," Doolittle said. "Things didn't necessarily happen from week to week, they happened kind of season to season. Part of the slower developing storylines gave us a chance to really get to know the characters."

When Daenerys Targaryen burned Kings Landing to the ground, Doolittle thought it felt rushed from the showrunners. 

"To see Dany really just conduct mass genocide after having like maybe like a couple bad weeks was really tough, it felt like a betrayal," Doolittle said. "You know the breaker of chains doing that, to me, it feels like they were trying to rush the mad queen maybe, or maybe they're trying to rush that storyline."

Doolittle also wanted an explanation as to how Euron Greyjoy washed ashore to fight Jaime Lannister.

"It's like 'oh, he's there somehow,' and even that was a bit underwhelming too because Euron never finds out that Cersei isn't pregnant with his baby," Doolittle mused.

But Doolittle has liked some of the episodes on their own. "I think episode five was, as a standalone like piece of television, I think it was maybe one of the most entertaining episodes of Game of Thrones," he explained.

And to close out the season, Doolittle is trying to have high hopes. "I love the show so much and I'm really trying not to be cynical," he said. "I'm still super excited for the finale, I can't wait, so I'm trying to withhold judgment until it's all said and done."