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WCF Game 6: Sharks flame out
Cup run ends with a 5-1 loss in St Louis
5/21/19 - By Mike Lee -

Skating without three of the biggest guns on their roster, the Sharks packed up the 2018-19 NHL season with a disappointing 5-1 loss to the St Louis Blues in the Western Conference Finals. Leading 3-2 entering the game, St Louis matched their 5-goal output in Game 5 to finish off the Sharks. It was about as disappointing a performance as they come. The Blues led from wire to wire, and were never challenged by the bruised and battered Sharks.

San Jose was beaten before they even stepped on the ice. They said all the things teams are supposed to say when at a massive disadvantage, but their body language on the ice said otherwise.

Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl were ruled out well before the game, and Joe Pavelski failed to make the lineup as a game time decision. Skating without those players had the Sharks fighting a fight with one arm tied behind their back.

The Sharks were on their heels from the get go, playing with their backs against the wall. There simply was no fight in this dog.

The Blues didn't even wait for their fans to get settled before they pumped a puck past Martin Jones92 seconds into the contest. Sammy Blais gathered a Ryan O'Reilly pass on the right side then had a ham sandwich before deciding where to shoot the puck. With no Shark defender within 20 feet of him, Blais selected the upper right corner, whipping his 2 goal of the playoffs home for the 1-0 lead.

Barclay Goodrow was sent off for tripping Robert Bortuzzo at 16:09 in the Blues zone. St Louis used all of 7 seconds to convert on the power play, when Vladimir Tarasenko snapped a shot from the left dot that clipped Jones right shoulder before deflecting just inside the top left corner of the net.

The Sharks cut the Blues lead in half 6:40 into the 2nd period when rookie Dylan Gambrell took a Joonas Donskoi feed before snapping a shot that beat Jordan Binnington tot he stick side. The goal was Gambrell's first NHL goal in only his second career playoff game. The Sharks young forward was inserted into the lineup after Joe Pavelski was unable to go.

The sharks came within inches of tying the game with 9:30 left in the period when Logan Couture tried jamming a puck home from the right side. Colton Parayko had to reach behind Binnington to clear the puck as it sat inches from the goal line.

Justin Braun put the Blues back on the power play at 10:57, when he was called for hooking Robert Thomas. Once again, the penalty kill had no answer. Brayden Schenn pushed a shot past Jones from just outside the crease on the left side after an Alex Pietrangelo shot bounced off the Sharks netminder. There were no Shark defenders within 10 feet of Schenn, which simplified the scoring play for the Blues forward.

Patrick Maroon opened the 3rd period by tripping Donskoi, but the Sharks power play filed them as it has the entire playoffs. Kevin Labanc came closest with a shot from the bottom of the right side, but his shot hit the left post.

With so many holes in the lineup and the lack of that x-factor instinct, the clock simply ran out on San Jose.

Any thoughts of a comeback were put to rest at 13:05 of the period when Tyler Bozak collected a pass off a give and go from David Perron on the right side before trying to feed the puck across the top of the crease to Ryan O'Reilly who was crashing on the left post. Gus Nyquist tried to intercept Bozak's pass, but deflected it past Jones to make it a 4-1 game.

The Sharks pulled Jones with 3 minutes to play, but the Sharks weren't motivated to keep it out of tier own net, much less try to score. Oskar Sundqvist missed the open net on a rush up the ice, but missed wide right. Ivan Barbashev collected the puck as he circled out of the right corner, but defenseman Tim Heed made no attempt to stop the Blues forward, who whipped a shot as he skated away from the goal. The empty netter simply added to the festive Enterprise Center who celebrated their first return to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1970.

Game Notes:

* Evander Kane: 20 games played, 2 goals, 6 assists, 61 penalty minutes.

* Brendon Dillon's -8 plus/minus is second worst in the playoffs this year. Joe Thornton, Kevin Labanc and Evander Kane were all a -5, all 4th worst in the playoffs. For the greif he took, Brent Burns was a +4.

* In what may have been the last game of his Hall of Fame career, Joe Thornton's line: 16:00 minutes of ice time on 24 shifts, -1 +/-, 0 points, 0 shots, 1 missed shot, 1 giveaway, 4 of 8 on faceoffs (50%).

* The lone bright spot was Dylan Gambrell who scored his first NHL goal. Gambrell skated 19 shifts for 13:20 of ice time, and he logged 2 shots, 1 hit, and was 3 of 7 on faceoffs (43%).

* The two biggest offensive guns, Logan Couture and Timo Meier were a -4 combined, with 4 shots (Meier had none).

* Typically one of the shot leaders, Brent Burns was muzzled all night. He had 2 shots on goal and was never a factor in any offensive chances.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
STL 2 1 2 5
1st period - 1, STL, Blais 2 (O'Reilly, Gunnarsson), 1:32. 2, STL, Tarasenko 8 (Parayko, O'Reilly), 16:16, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Gambrell 1 (Donskoi, Jones), 6:40. 4, STL, Schenn 2 (Pietrangelo, Thomas), 12:47, (pp).
3rd period - 5, STL, Bozak 5 (Perron, O'Reilly), 13:05. 6, STL, Barbashev 2 (unassisted), 17:45, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Goodrow, STL (tripping), 16:09.
2nd period - Braun, SJ (hooking), 10:57.
3rd period - Maroon, STL (tripping), 1:36.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 18 14
SJ - empty net 1 0
STL - Binnington 26 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 7 10 26
STL 7 9 3 19
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
STL 2 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Jordan Binnington
David Perron
Colton Parayko
Attendance
Enterprise Center - 18,684
Officials
Referees: Charron, McCauley. Linesmen: Amell, Cherrey.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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