NHL Game Summary - San Jose at St. Louis|
(Saturday, April 21st)
Final Score: St. Louis 3, San Jose 1
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - It took 10 years, but the Blues finally are
back in the conference semifinals.
Jamie Langenbrunner and David Perron scored 45 seconds apart in the third
period, boosting St. Louis to a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of
the Western Conference quarterfinals. Andy McDonald added an empty-net goal in
the final minute.
Brian Elliott turned aside 26 shots for the second-seeded Blues, who won the
final four games of the series and advanced to the second round for the first
time since the spring of 2002, when they beat Chicago before losing to Detroit
in the second round.
"I've been here through a few ups and a lot of downs so it's very gratifying
that I've been here the whole time and been a small piece of this puzzle and
it's a great feeling right now," Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman said.
Joe Thornton scored in the final minute of the second period for the Sharks,
who lost in the conference finals each of the previous two years. Antti Niemi
made 24 saves.
"We had a good group of guys and you want to keep playing," Thornton said.
"This is the best time of the year. Hat's off to the Blues, they played great
but it's a terrible feeling right now."
Down by a goal, Langenbrunner tied it at the 11:16 mark. A shot from above the
right circle from Scott Nichol caromed off the glove of Niemi. Langenbrunner
charged in and deposited the rebound in the net.
Perron then used a quick flip of the stick to send in the winning goal on a
deflection. Alex Pietrangelo sent a shot from the right circle, but Perron got
his stick down to send the puck by Niemi.
McDonald took a delay of game penalty for the Blues with 4 1/2 minutes left
when he sent the puck over the glass, but despite applying pressure in the
offensive zone the Sharks were turned away.
Just as the penalty expired, Joe Pavelski's attempt from in close was stopped
by Elliott with 2:25 remaining.
The Sharks pulled Niemi with over a minute left and San Jose called timeout
with 55.4 seconds to go.
McDonald got a loose puck in the neutral zone and sent a backhander into the
net with 38.2 seconds left, setting off a wild celebration.
Elliott, who started the last three games in net for St. Louis after Jaroslav
Halak was forced to leave Game 2 with a lower-body injury, made 11 saves in
the last period.
"One of the best feelings so far and it just makes you want to go out there
and do it again. It was a good team win," Elliott said.
St. Louis had just three shots in the opening period and then fell behind on
Thornton's goal with 41 seconds left in the second. Daniel Winnik fed the puck
from behind the net to Thornton, who scored from below the left circle.
The Blues, who won the Central Division title this season for the first time
since 1999-2000, went 0-for-2 on the power play in Game 5...Both teams were 0-
for-2 on the power play.
04/21 23:45:39 ET