Sharks vs. Blues Game 1: Sharks drop series opener in St. Louis

San Jose tied the game once but couldn't get a second equalizer.

For the first time in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Sharks find themselves trailing a series after dropping Game 1 of the Western Conference Final in St. Louis. San Jose bounced right back after going down 1–0 in the first period, but strong work by Brian Elliott and the Blues' penalty kill kept the Sharks from tying the game a second time.

The Blues appeared to break through at 11:35 of the first period after controlling play up until that point. Martin Jones couldn't stop the puck from sliding through his legs and into the net, but the goal was quickly waved off for goaltender interference by Patrik Berglund. The no goal call was upheld after Ken Hitchcock used his coach's challenge. A few minutes later, David Backes tipped a shot from Kevin Shattenkirk past Jones to put the Blues up 1–0 after a tripping penalty to Logan Couture gave St. Louis its first power play.

It didn't take the Sharks long to respond. Just 34 seconds after Backes scored, Tomas Hertl deflected Brent Burns' shot past Brian Elliott to make it 1–1. Hertl received credit for the Pavelskian™ tip after it was originally awarded to Joe Pavelski; the goal would have been the captain's franchise record-breaking 10th of these playoffs.

The Sharks came out strong in the second, but Jori Lehtera put St. Louis back on top on just the second Blues shot in the first nine-plus minutes of the period. A turnover by Burns gave Lehtera the puck in the neutral zone, and Jones couldn't make the save on Lehtera's shot. Elliott stopped 12 San Jose shots after the goal and 16 shots overall in the second to keep the score at 2–1.

Pete DeBoer pulled Jones with two and a half minutes left in the third period as the Sharks looked for the tying goal, but Elliott stood tall and stopped every shot the Sharks fired at the net in a frantic push to end the game.

Sharks goals (assists): Tomas Hertl (Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns)

[Fancy Stats] - [Blues Reaction] - [TOI Log] - [Event Summary] - [Faceoff Report] - [PBP Log]

Fear the Fin's Three Stars

1) Brian Elliott

2) Jori Lehtera

3) Vladimir Tarasenko