NHL Playoffs 2012- Last Night in the West (April 16)
With only one game on slate in the Western Conference, the number two seed Blues and seven seed Sharks had their work cut out for them to keep up the playoff energy in game three of their series. With the series heading to the Pacific Time Zone in San Jose, Blues fans had to stay up until almost midnight to watch their team pull off the victory.
St. Louis Blues 4 Vs. San Jose Sharks 3 (Blues Lead Series 2-1)
The Sharks at least made it interesting to end the game. They made a rush in the last five minutes with goals from Colin White with less than five minutes remaining, and Logan Couture with 17 seconds remaining to bring the game within one goal. If the Shark’s Joe Thornton had not taken a penalty in between the two goals, they would have had a chance. Thornton continues his annual playoff mediocrity.
The Blues struck first with Patrik Berglund’s third goal of the playoffs. If physical play is the biggest storyline of the young 2012 playoffs, and overtime is the second, pucks lying in the crease to be put in would have to be the third. The puck was lying in the crease behind Antti Niemi for Berglund to tap in. Brent Burns scored the Shark’s first goal just two minutes later.
The Blues scored at almost exactly the first minute mark to start the second and third periods. Andy MacDonald scored in his second game in a row, 59 seconds into the second period, while Alex Steen scored one minute and one second into the third period. Sandwiched between the two goals was one from Jason Arnott at the ten minute mark. The ten minutes of even spacing between the three goals completely deflated the Sharks for much of the game.
Brian Elliott made 26 saves, as he continues to play for the injured Jaroslav Halak. It will be interesting to see if Halak plays again in the playoffs since the two goalies split time during the regular season. In game one the Sharks looked like the more experienced team that they are, but the Blues have countered with their regular season talent in the last two games. For the Sharks to have a chance, game four is a must win to stay alive.