'"Burn the tape." Those are the words you'd expect to hear out of head coach Peter DeBoer during the post-game press conference as the San Jose Sharks dropped Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues.
St. Louis opened up the scoring in the first period on the powerplay after Brent Burns was sent off the ice for tripping. Troy Brouwer, the man who has hit left post, right post, and crossbar this whole series, finally found the back of the net to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Brouwer, playing the role of Joe Pavelski, got positioned right in front of the Sharks net as Robby Fabbri and Paul Statsny played tic-tac-toe to set him up for the score.
DeBoer used his challenge on the play to see if the Blues were offside prior to the goal. After a lengthy review by the linesman, the play on the ice stood and St. Louis snapped their seven period scoreless streak.
Not much later, the Blues would add to their lead on a goal by Jori Lehtera, making it 2-0. Just seconds earlier, Martin Jones made a ridiculous diving save to rob Fabbri of a goal, but with Jones out of position after the save coupled with several teal and white sweaters in front the net, the puck found its way to Lehtera's stick who buried the shot.
The Sharks didn't play their best hockey in the opening 20 minutes, but they certainly had some opportunities. Joonas Donskoi and Logan Couture both made fantastic plays to split St. Louis defenders, but Jake Allen, making his first start of the playoffs in favor of Brian Elliot, denied them both. San Jose's first powerplay was lackluster, however, as they didn't register a single shot on goal after Statsny went off for interference.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic slashed Vladimir Tarasenko with 24 seconds left in the first period, putting the Blues on their second powerplay. Couture would send the puck out of play at the start of the second, giving St. Louis 48 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey. They successfully killed both Vlasic's and Couture's penalty's, keeping the game at a much manageable two goal deficit.
The Sharks went on their second powerplay of the game after killing those two penalties and it went horribly. St. Louis had two odd-man rushes during San Jose's powerplay and scored a shorthanded goal, making it 3-0. Kyle Brodziak was the recipient of a Jaden Schwartz pass on a 2-on-1 break, and Brodziak wouldn't miss.
Brodziak would add his second goal of the period and suddenly James Reimer found himself on the ice as the Sharks pulled Jones. 4-0 Blues.
But wait, the Sharks showed some life at the start of the third period when Joe Thornton fed Pavelski right in front of the net who tapped the puck in past Allen to make it 4-1. It certainly stirred up some energy within the crowd at the Shark Tank.
The slim glimmer of hope in our eyes was crushed when Joel Ward took a delay of game penalty. Off the draw, the Blues would convert on the powerplay as Brouwer scored his second goal of the game off of a deflection on a shot by Alexander Steen.
Chris Tierney would score his fourth goal of the playoffs, cutting St. Louis' lead to three goals after Allen got sloppy on a rebound and turned the puck over to him.
The Sharks would go on their third powerplay seconds after Tierney's goal, and despite having some of their best looks all game, they wouldn't convert on it.
San Jose would get their fourth opportunity on the powerplay minutes later after drawing a tripping penalty. Certainly this time they would score on the man-advantage, right? No. San Jose's elite powerplay has looked anything but through the first four games of the Western Conference Finals. Tonight's results: 0/4 with two shots on net and one goal scored against.
DeBoer pulled Reimer with 5:03 left in the game in hopes of a three-goal miracle, but it never came to fruition as Alex Pietrangelo found the empty net to make it 6-2.
But wait, there's more! Melker Karlsson "scored" when the puck deflected off Joel Edmundson and past Allen to make it a 6-3 game. And 6-3 would be the *final* score as the Blues tie the series up at 2-2.
Wait, we could have let you guys do this the whole time? Redo... pic.twitter.com/HvSv9lJvDC— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) May 22, 2016
At least Brenden Dillon beat the poop emoji out of Carl Gunnarsson towards the end of the third period, as that was all San Jose had going their way tonight.
With the win, it's safe to say St. Louis has a slight advantage with Game 5 and a potential Game 7 back at the Scottrade Center in Missouri. This was a game to forget for San Jose, and if there's anything positive to take away from it, it's that Jones was able to get some rest (he certainly wasn't the reason why the Sharks lost) and that nobody got hurt.
*Fear the Fin does not condone drinking and driving