Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks beat the Blues 5-4 in St.Louis on Saturday. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Logan Couture (2), Rudolfs Balcers, and Patrick Marleau. Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for the win. The Blues goals were scored by Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou. Jordan Binnington made 22 saves in the loss.
Despite allowing another four-goal second period to the Blues, the Sharks persisted for the win. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about coping with penalties and questionable calls: “We stuck with it and we had some great kills, character kills, and we found a way to get three points out of these two games. It could have easily been four.”
Evander Kane ended a four-game goal drought at 7:24 of the first, giving the Sharks the first lead of the game. Logan Couture tried to move the puck from the boards to Kane but it went to Zach Sanford instead. Sanford turned it right over to Kane, with some help from Kevin Labanc. Kane was ready to spin, settle the puck and shoot before Binnington could get set.
Couture doubled the lead at 10:10. Kane chased the puck down behind the net and sent it up ice to Kevin Labanc, who found Couture in front of the net with a quick pass. Couture tapped it right in.
The first period ended with the Sharks leading in shots 10-9, and in the face-off circle at 54%. The Sharks took one penalty in the first, and the Blues had one shot on that power-play.
The second period was much busier than the first. The Sharks added to their tally at 3:48. Rudolfs Balcers scored his first as a Shark by stopping above the blue paint and waiting for a pass from Tomas Hertl, who was below the goal line. Despite the Blues defense around him, Hertl got the pass cleanly to Balcers for a one-timer past Binnington.
The Blues scored at 4:45. Jordan Kyrou, with Marc-Edouard Vlasic blocking his path, bounced the puck off of the post from below the goal line. It went right to Brayden Schenn for a shot past Devan Dubnyk on the blocker side. Assists went to Jordan Kyrou and Mike Hoffman.
Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks a three-goal lead at 8:18. Evander Kane sent the puck under a leaping Matt Nieto to Marleau on the far side of the net. Marleau tapped it in behind Binnington.
The Blues came right back with their second goal at 8:37. Torey Krug took a shot from the Blue line that went off of Zach Sanford. The goal was reviewed for a high stick but was allowed. Assists went to Krug and Schenn.
Ryan O’Reilly’s one-timer from just above the goal line cut the Sharks lead to one at 15:30. The Sharks were short-handed as Mario Ferraro left the ice abruptly after losing his helmet. Assists went to Hoffman and Kyrou.
Kyrou tied it up ith just 1:19 left in the second. Kyrou skated in, two-on-one with David Perron. Perron drew the defensive attention so Kyrou took the shot and beat Dubnyk on the glove side. Assists went to Perron and O’Reilly.
The Blues led on the second-period shot clock, 15-10, and in the face-off circle, at 54%. As in the first, the Sharks took one penalty but the Blues didn’t get any shots out of it.
Couture, just on the ice after a line change, gave the Sharks a new lead at 11:51 of the third. His shot from the face-off circle slipped through traffic at the net before Binnington could find it.
The Blues pulled their goaltender with just over a minute left but the Sharks held on. The Blues took their first penalty in the third period, but it was offset by a penalty to the Sharks as well, for some four-on-four play. The Sharks took a second penalty in the third, but their penalty kill did not allow any shots. The final shot count was 32-27 Blues, and the face-offs went to the Blues 52% of the time.
The Sharks next play on Monday, back in San Jose, against the Minnesota Wild at 7:30 PM PT.