San Jose snapped the Blues five-game win streak as Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton each had a pair of goals.
After getting a couple of days to regroup over the weekend, the San Jose Sharks came out fresh and attacked the St. Louis Blues from the get-go. San Jose used a strong first period to power their way past the Blues for a 6-3 victory as the Sharks responded after a tough outing against the Hurricanes.
San Jose jumped all over St. Louis in the early going scoring three times within the first 13 minutes of the contest. The first came when Tomas Hertl took the puck from behind the net and stuffed the puck between the legs of Brian Elliott for his 13th goal of the season at the 4:44 mark.
Then, a scary moment took place as Ryan Reaves received a five-minute major and a game misconduct after boarding Matt Tennyson from behind. Tennyson was down for an extended period of time and wasn’t able to return to the game.
On the ensuing Sharks power play, Hertl made the Blues pay as he found a loose puck at the side of the net and tapped in his second of the night and 14th of the year as San Jose took a 2-0 lead.
San Jose wasn’t done doing damage against the league’s top penalty killing unit as following a Robert Bortuzzo slashing penalty, the Sharks had a 5-on-3 opportunity and were able to cash in. Logan Couture found a puck in front and managed to sneak one through the five hole of Elliott who was injured on the play with a lower body injury.
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Elliott came into the game as the league leader in goals-against-average (2.06) and save percentage (.931), but San Jose has now found the back of the net six times in four periods against the Blues netminder.
The Sharks were dominant at times in the opening frame, outshooting St. Louis 15-2 at one point in time. The only part of their game that was struggling was the penalty kill, which allowed the Blues to find some energy late in the first.
After a nice save from Martin Jones, David Backes followed up his own rebound for his 15th of the season, cutting the deficit to two after the first 20 minutes of action.
St. Louis continued their power-play efficiency in the middle frame as following a Joel Ward high-sticking penalty, the Blues went right back to work. This time, it was sniper Vladimir Tarasenko who ripped one past a screened Jones for his 29th of the season as St. Louis began gaining momentum.
However, that momentum was short-lived as just 20 seconds later, Couture was able to corral another loose puck off a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot from the point and deposit it for his second goal of the evening as Jake Allen couldn’t find the puck. It was a huge goal for the Sharks to help turn the tide and steady themselves after the two power play tallies against.
From then on, San Jose played a very solid road game as Jones was there when he was needed to be called up. The Sharks were even able to find some insurance as a great individual effort saw Joe Thornton steal the puck off Carl Gunnarsson and backhand one past Allen for his 13th of the year.
St. Louis would add a third tally on a Jay Bouwmeester blast from the point, but a Thornton empty-netter would seal the deal as San Jose did enough defensive work late to hang on for a big two points. It was a strong bounce back performance from Thornton who had a four-point night after being a minus-three against Carolina.
The win moved the Sharks back to within three points of the Los Angeles Kings atop the Pacific Division as they continue to try and track down the top spot. Also, San Jose tied the Washington Capitals for most road wins in the NHL at 21 as the Sharks still haven’t lost back-to-back games since the beginning of January.