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Blues turn the tables on San Jose
Sharks implode after taking 2-0 lead
3/2/2023 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks treated fans to the "two sides of hockey" on Thursday night at SAP Center. San Jose played a flawless opening 20 minutes against the visiting St Louis Blues, scoring twice in the frame. They would then allow 4 goals in a 2nd period that was a complete reversal in play, accountability, effort, you name it. San Jose would eventually fall 6-3 to the Blues, to help St Louis snap a 6-game losing streak.

The Blues entered play mired in a tailspin, and with the reality that the franchise has thrown in the towel on the season with several key players departing via trade. They played like a broken team in the opening period.

Alexander Barabanov staked the Sharks to a 1-0 lead 3:50 into the game, when he beat out Blues defenseman Justin Faulk to a loose puck skipping down the right wing. Barabanov then flipped the puck to his left and crossed over past Faulk towards the slot, where he got off a shot that beat former Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss. The goal was Barabanov's 12th of the season.

Logan Couture made it a 2-0 Sharks lead less than 3 minutes later. The Sharks captain unloaded on an Erik Karlsson drop pass from the left dot. The shot beat Greiss low to the stick side for his 21st goal of the season.

The 2nd period would be a completely different experience for the Sharks. The Blues showed flashes of their Stanley Cup pedigree by blitzing the Sharks.

Colton Parayko scored the 1st of 4 unanswered Blues goals in the period 2:35 into the frame. Nikita Alexandrov setup the goal by evading a Sharks defender along the left wing boards before sending a bullet to the right post where Parayko was skating for a tap in past James Reimer.

An tripping penalty to Barabanov setup the 1st of 2 Blues power plays in the period. Jordan Kyrou put his 26th goal of the season past Reimer with a shot from the slot after Pavel Buchnevich sent a pass from the end boards. Kyrou was positioned between all 4 Shark defenders who could not reach the winger.

Logan Brown gave St Louis the lead at 9:30 after the Blues worked the puck from behind the Sharks net to the slot, to Brown on the right side. The Blues did all that while Josh Leivo was limping through the slot on his way to the St Louis bench.

Radim Simek was sent off at 18:09 for tripping, and the Blues would capitalize with their 2nd power play goal of the period. This time Brayden Schenn got in on the goal-fest with a tap in similar to Parayko's. Kyrou skated the puck off the left wing boards and hit Schenn with a pass through the slot as Mario Ferraro was late to cover the Blues forward.

When Kevin Labanc was set off for tripping 5:31 into the 3rd period and the Blues power play effectiveness, things looked bleak for San Jose. Steven Lorentz turned that upside down when he carried a Matt Benning feed up the right wing, then cut across the slot and used Benning as a screen while shooting the puck past Greiss to make it a 1-goal game.

Tyler Pitlick would roof a shot that appeared to surprise Reimer to push the Blues lead back to 2-goals with 5:08 to play.

Kasperi Kapanen added an empty-net goal late to cap the game's scoring.

Game Notes:

* Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson played in his 900th career NHL game.

* Newly acquired left winger Vladislav Nemestnikov was assigned jersey #90, but it's unclear if he'll ever wear it in a game. The Sharks traded Mikey Eyssimont on Tuesday to land the forward from the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the deal is an odd move by the Sharks. The Russian forward could be bait for a forthcoming move by Sharks GM Mike Grier.

* Kevin Labanc was back in the lineup after missing Tuesday's game for the birth of his son Eric.

* Pavel Buchnevich recorded 4 assists for the Blues, 3 coming in the fateful 2nd period.

* The short-handed goal for Steven Lorentz was the 1st of his career.


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1 2 3 T
STL 0 4 2 6
SJ 2 0 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Barabanov 12 (Johnsson, Ferraro), 3:50. 2, SJ, Couture 21 (Karlsson, Barabanov), 6:31.
2nd period - 3, STL, Parayko 4 (Alexandrov, Leivo), 2:35. 4, STL, Kyrou 26 (Buchnevich, Krug), 5:21, (pp). 5, STL, Brown 1 (Buchnevich, Parayko), 9:30. 6, STL, Schenn 17 (Kyrou, Buchnevich), 19:00, (pp).
3rd period - 7, SJ, Lorentz 6 (Benning), 6:36, (sh). 8, STL, Pitlick 4 (Alexandrov), 14:52. 9, STL, Kapanen 8 (Buchnevich, Schenn), 17:03, (en).
1st period - None.
2nd period - Barabanov, SJ (tripping), 4:33; Blais, STL (minor), 12:57; Simek, SJ (tripping), 18:09.
3rd period - Labanc, SJ (tripping), 5:31.
Shots Saves
STL - Greiss 25 22
SJ - Reimer 22 17
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
STL 4 12 7 23
SJ 10 9 6 25
Power Play Conversion
STL 2 of 3
SJ 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Pavel Buchnevich
Colton Parayko
Nikita Alexandrov
SAP Center - 12,290
Referees: #22 Ghislain Hebert, #20 Mitch Dunning. Linesmen: #71 Brad Kovachik, #64 Brandon Gawryletz.

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