5.22.19

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NHL PLAYOFFS

B6 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

M 2 • WeDneSDAy • 05.22.2019

STANLEY CUP FINALS • BLUES VS. BRUINS Monday 7 p.m. at Boston KSDK (5)

Wednesday 5/29 7 p.m. at Boston NBCSN

Saturday 6/1 7 p.m. at Enterprise NBCSN

Monday 6/3 7 p.m. at Enterprise KSDK (5)

*Thursday 6/6 7 p.m. at Boston KSDK (5)

*Sunday 6/9 7 p.m. at Enterprise KSDK (5)

*Wed. 6/12 7 p.m. at Boston KSDK (5) * If necessary

BLUES NOTEBOOK

Three top players miss game for San Jose BY TOM TIMMERMANN

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Sharks were without their top two goal scorers in the regular season and one of their top defensemen for Game 6 Tuesday night at Enterprise Center. Defenseman Erik Karlsson and forwards Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski sat out Game 6 for San Jose, as injuries old and new kept the trio out of the crucial game. Pavelski had 38 goals and Hertl had 35 for the Sharks, and Hertl had nine goals in the first two rounds of the playoffs before being held to one by the Blues in the first five games. Karlsson, a two-time Norris Trophy winner, has been battling leg and groin injuries all season and left Game 5 in the second period. He was questionable going into that game, but coach Peter DeBoer took a chance on playing him, a gamble that didn’t pay off when Karlsson, who missed some shifts late in Game 4, couldn’t continue. Hertl, who was second on the

Sharks in points with 74 in the regular season, was injured in the second period of Game 5 after a hit by Ivan Barbashev in the neutral zone. Neither made the trip to St. Louis. Pavelski made the trip, and DeBoer said he would be a gametime decision, but when the Sharks came out for pregame warm-ups, Pavelski wasn’t there. Dylan Gambrell, who played in eight games for the Sharks in the regular season and one in the playoffs, and Marcus Sorensen, who had played every playoff game before Game 5, stepped in for Hertl and Pavelski, and Tim Heed, who played 37 games in the regular season, replaced Karlsson.

unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a 10-minute misconduct. “I don’t know (why), do you have the answer?” Pietrangelo said. “I have no idea. I don’t know, I’ll take that as a compliment, I guess. I guess they think I have an impact on the game. They can run at me all they want. ... If I’ve got to take a few hits to get this team to win, it’s OK with me.” As to a hit on Pavelski that knocked him out of Game 6, Pietrangelo said: “I don’t know what he left with. That’s tough because we kind of got sandwiched between the ref, so I don’t know. I honestly don’t. I hit him and then I looked down and he went off the ice, and I went back to play.”

COME AND GET ME

Defenseman Joel Edmundson, whose power-play time had been largely limited to going onto the ice with a few seconds to play when teams are about to go back to even strength, has been logging regular power-play time in

In the third period of Game 5, the Sharks sent out forward Micheal Haley apparently for the sole purpose of going after Alex Pietrangelo. He repeatedly crosschecked Pietrangelo and got an

POWER ED

the playoffs. In Game 4, Edmundson played 1:20 on the power play, and in Game 5 he played 3:06 in a game in which the Blues had a man advantage for 9:22. The move was brought on by two events — the injury to defenseman Vince Dunn in Game 3 and the Blues giving up a shorthanded goal and another goal to a player right out of the penalty box in Game 2. “I enjoy it,” Edmundson said. “It’s obviously a new thing for me. I played a bit in juniors, but over the past five years there hasn’t been much power-play time. Just watching some video, talking to my unit, figuring out where I should be, what I should do. It’s still a learning process. I’m just trying to be out there and keep it simple.” One of Edmundson’s responsibilities on the power play is to make sure there aren’t any more short-handed goals for the opposition. “Absolutely,” he said. “That’s the main reason I’m out there.

Throughout the playoffs, we’ve been having too many odd-man rushes when they’re on the penalty kill. I’m out there as a safety valve. I just want to keep it simple and get pucks on net and let the forwards bury it.” “With Dunn out of the lineup, Eddie’s a good choice,” coach Craig Berube said. “Eddie’s got some good power-play skills actually. He makes some good plays out there on the power play. He’s got a pretty good shot.” There were a few times earlier in the season when Berube told Edmundson to be ready to go on the ice on the power play because Pietrangelo or Colton Parayko needed a breather when rolling up the heavy minutes they often do. “At the moment I was pretty happy that they kept those guys out there,” Edmundson said, “but now that I’ve got a few reps in today and watched some video, I’m pretty comfortable now.” Tom Timmermann • 314-340-8190 @tomtimm on Twitter ttimmermann@post-dispatch.com

Blues From B1

one more opponent to beat. It feels unbelievable. I’m not going to lie.” The last time the Blues made the Cup finals in 1970, they faced Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins. Nearly a half-century later, they’re back in the Cup and playing ... Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins in the Cup finals. Game 1 is Monday in Boston. Dead last in the 31-team NHL on Jan. 2, the Blues need four victories against Boston to complete their improbable worst-tofirst journey. “I always thought this was possible when looking at this group,” said Ryan O’Reilly, the team’s unofficial regular-season MVP who had three assists Tuesday. “But having the struggles we had early in the year and then rallying to be here now, it’s amazing that we actually have a chance to win a Stanley Cup now.” They do. The Blues have never won a Stanley Cup. In fact, they’ve never even won a Stanley Cup game, getting swept by the Montreal Canadiens in 1968 and ‘69, and the Bruins in 1970. But as the clock wound down at Enterprise, and the crowd kept chanting “We want the Cup! We want the Cup!” all things seemed possible. “To go through what we went through this year is not easy,” said Alex Pietrangelo, who with an assist Tuesday set a Blues record for most points by a defenseman in one postseason (13). “I’m sure people questioned me (as captain) and questioned the group. “Sometimes you question yourself. But sometimes you have to lean on the people around you. They were nothing but supportive. When you have a group that’s as close as ours is — the hard times are hard, but you can have those hard and honest conversations with each other and we did that when things weren’t going well.” Things went well Tuesday. With rare exception, the Blues were in control against a San Jose team missing three injured mainstays: Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl. The team that scored first won every game in this series, and on Tuesday it was David Perron on a tip-in of a Sammy Blais shot just 92 seconds into play. “I’ve never played in an atmosphere like that,” Blais said. “I think it was incredible at the end when they were singing, ‘We want the Cup!’ Everyone on the bench had chills and it was a great moment.” Tarasenko’s goal gave the Blues’ revived power-play unit a goal in the last four games of this series, and gave the Blues a 2-0 lead. But Dylan Gambrell made the Blues sweat for a while when he got behind the St. Louis defense for a mini-breakaway and beat Jordan Binnington with a high wrister at the 6:40 mark of the second period to cut the lead to 2-1. Gambrell, whose resume includes only 11 regular-season NHL games, was in the lineup only because of the injuries to Pavelski and Hertl. Brayden Schenn restored order for the home team six min-

J.B. FORBES, JFORBES@POST-DISPATCH.COM

The Sharks’ Logan Couture couldn’t get to the rebound that bounced off Blues goalie Jordan Binnington during the second period Tuesday night.

Blues 5, Sharks 1 San Jose Blues

0 2

1 1

0 2

— —

1 5

First period B: Perron 6 (Blais, O’Reilly), 1:32. B: Tarasenko 8 (Parayko, O’Reilly), 16:16 (pp). Penalties: Goodrow, SJ, (tripping), 16:09. Second period S: Gambrell 1 (Donskoi, Jones), 6:40. B: Schenn 2 (Thomas, Pietrangelo), 12:47 (pp). Penalties: Braun, SJ, (hooking), 10:57. Third period B: Bozak 5 (Perron, O’Reilly), 13:05. B: Barbashev 2 (Sundqvist), 17:45. Penalties: Maroon, STL, (tripping), 1:36. Shots on goal San Jose 9 Blues 7

7 9

10 3

— 26 — 19

Power-plays San Jose 0 of 1; Blues 2 of 2. Goaltenders San Jose, Jones 10-8 (18 shots-14 saves). Blues, Binnington 11-7 (26-25). A: 18,684. COLTER PETERSON, CPETERSON @POST-DISPATCH.COM Referees: Francis Charron, Gord Dwyer. Linesmen: Derek Amell, Scott Cherrey. Blues left wing David Perron (57) scores against Sharks goaltender Martin Jones during the first period.

The Sharks outshot the Blues 10-0 over the first 12 ½ minutes of the third period, but then came goals by Tyler Bozak and then an empty-netter for Ivan Barbashev. A night that began with tornado warnings blaring around the arena ended with — what else? — “Gloria.” Alumni on hand such as Brett Hull and Kelly Chase fought back tears. With their newly-minted Western Conference championship hats in place, the Blues posed at center ice with the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, which goes to the Western champion. But none of them touched it — that’s bad luck. Who would have thought this COLTER PETERSON, CPETERSON@POST-DISPATCH.COM possible? Blues center Robert Thomas (left) and Sharks left wing Evander Kane go Just a year removed from down while fighting for the puck during the first period Tuesday night. being an organizational outcast in Providence — the AHL farm utes later, when he gathered a re- season. The two-goal lead re- team of the Boston Bruins — bound from the skates of Sharks stored, it was only a matter of Binnington was asked if he ever goalie Martin Jones and scored time before the Blues could see imagined he’d be in this spot a year a later. just his second goal of this post- all the way to Boston.

“I wouldn’t have put money on it,” he said. Six months ago, when soon to be non-interim coach Craig Berube took over what looked like a sinking ship, he wouldn’t have put money on a Stanley Cup appearance either. “No,” Berube said. “We were just trying to get on the right track then. Once we got going though in January and February, I knew we had a good hockey team. We get in the playoffs and anything can happen. ... Credit to our players. They battled and they believed they were gonna make the playoffs and we made it. And now we’re here.” Here, but as Bobby Plager reminded, there’s work to be done. “Four more wins, boys,” he told reporters. Four more wins. Jim Thomas @jthom1 on Twitter jthomas@post-dispatch.com