Why Winning Game 5 Was So Important — Louis Blues


So were their spirits.

After a controversial win in Game 3, the San Jose Sharks put forth their best effort of the series in Game 4.

As a result, the series heads back to St. Louis with the Blues able to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final with a win on home ice in Game 6.

Schwartz added two goals in the third for his second hat trick this postseason, becoming the first player with two in one playoff run since Johan Franzen for Detroit in 2008. "We all know how important and how hard that last win is going to be (against San Jose) but it would be a dream come true".

The Sharks weren't close to the Blues on Sunday.

The San Jose Sharks look for their eighth playoff home victory to take a 3-2 series lead. Jaden Schwartz leads St. Louis with nine goals, Alex Pietrangelo has 10 assists and Vladimir Tarasenko has 59 shots on goal. Hertl-who took a hit to the head from Ivan Barbashev in the first-was also missing from the bench at the start of the third.

Nothing has come easy for San Jose or St. Louis.

Literally and figuratively, the Sharks looked like a beaten team. Scoring their lone goal in the game four loss was Tomas Hertl, which was his 10th of the postseason and that is good for 2nd most in the league behind teammate Logan Couture's 14. We've had calls go against us, and we've had calls go for us, and we're still standing. "And if they can't play, who's going to go in there and how are they going to go in and win in St. Louis?" They gave themselves that opportunity by going on the road and dominating in Game 5. The Sharks have the better shot share (53.6%) but the Blues have generated more expected goals (51.4%) at 5-on-5.

"They were short so many players in the third period, that's taxing the rest of the guys, and then they were taking penalties", Baker said.

Tarasenko buried his penalty shot to make it 3-0. In a back-and-forth game that saw the Sharks score with one minute remaining to force overtime, it was a call in the extra frame that left the Blues fuming.

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"It's a great spot to be in", coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday.

The goal was eventually disallowed and San Jose won the game 3-2.

The Blues might have won this series in five games had officials not missed Timo Meier's hand pass that set up Karlsson's overtime victor in Game 3.

"It's a fast game", Meier said.

The Colorado Avalanche were offside (but were they?) in Game 7 where a goal was called back, and they were knocked out in Round 2.

"I think at the end of the day, it boils down to finding ways to win, and every team goes through adversity throughout the course of the playoffs". Their trajectory has been angling towards this moment for a long time.

"We've just got to regroup", DeBoer said. "It's been a good job so far". "So just pushing and keep fighting and be aggressive". "Our group is so tight in here".

Whatever the Blues did between the first and second periods, it worked. "It's been really fun and it's pretty special". The over is 13-3 in Sharks last 16 home games. Their focus for Tuesday's game will also be severely tested.

NOTES: The Blues and Sharks entered the game with 42 points each in the playoffs, the most in the National Hockey League.