Timo Meier and Logan Couture had two goals and an assist for the San Jose Sharks, helping them to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
Joe Pavelski and Kevin Labanc also scored, and Martin Jones made 28 saves for San Jose, who have won Game 1 in all three rounds this postseason.
Captain Pavelski said, “It was big that we got the Game 1 win…. We’ve had different guys step up along the way. Tonight, forwards scored some goals, D-men were great breaking pucks out at times.”
The line of Meier, Couture and Gustav Nyqvist combined for eight points (four goals, four assists), leading Couture to state “I thought Timo and Gus played really well… Meier was a bull. When he skates and with his strength, he’s tough to defend. We’re fortunate enough to play with him on our line.”
Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each had an assist for San Jose, who lead the NHL in points by defensemen (38 – 8g, 30a).
Joel Edmundson, Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Bozak scored, and Jordan Binnington allowed five goals on 24 shots for the visitors, who had 12 giveaways in their second loss in seven road playoff games.
“It wasn’t our best game,” O’Reilly told media. “We didn’t take care of the puck well enough. They outplayed us tonight. … It’s disappointing, but we have to respond. It’s a long series, and we know we have to be better next game.”
Blues forward Robert Thomas isn’t worried, “We’ve had our backs against the wall the entire second half of the year. We know we’ll respond. I was happy with our third period, but it was a little late. We’ll bring that into Game 2.”
The six goals allowed by the Blues tied their playoff high; a 6-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of the first round on April 14.
The two teams will meet again in San Jose on Monday.
Blues v Sharks – Monday, May 13 (9pm – NBCSN)
ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN