The San Jose Sharks were unable to silence the St. Louis Blues as they lost 4-1 in a Western Conference Final rematch at SAP Center on Thursday night.
Sharks backup goalie Aaron Dell made a couple of notable saves to keep his team in the game during the opening period. Dell blocked a wrist shot from Alexander Steen at 14:06. Dell also made a spectacular glove save on David Perron’s backhand shot at 11:13.
The Blues got on the board first as Scottie Upshall scored an unassisted goal off a Brent Burns’ giveaway, beating Dell for his eighth of the season with 3:20 left in the period.
However, the Blues’ lead was short-lived as the Sharks tied the score at one apiece 55 seconds later. Joel Ward sent a pass to Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who beat Carter Hutton short-side for his fifth goal of the season.
The Sharks and Blues skated to a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes. Shots were 10-6 in favor of St. Louis.
The Blues grabbed a 2-1 lead at 5:49 of the second period as Zach Sanford picked up a pass from Alexander Bouwmeester from the top of the right circle for his third goal of the season.
The action intensified late in the period when Michael Haley dropped the gloves and fought with Ryan Reaves. As a result, both players were assessed five-minute fighting majors.
The Sharks trailed the Blues 2-1 after 40 minutes. Shots were 20-11 in favor of St. Louis.
The Sharks’ penalty kill looked poor in the third period. Dylan DeMelo was called for tripping Steen at 11:38. The Blues went on the power play and capitalized with the man advantage as Vladimir Tarasenko scored on the rebound for his 33rd goal of the season 12 seconds later.
Tarasenko scored an empty-net goal with 1:50 left in regulation for his second of the game and 34th of the season to seal a 4-1 victory for the Blues.
The Sharks (42-21-7) suffered a tough 4-1 loss to the Blues (37-28-5) at home. Despite the loss, San Jose continues to lead the Pacific Division. Dell made 32 saves in a losing effort.
“I just got to forget about and move on,” Dell said when asked about the Sharks’ loss.
Meanwhile, the Blues remain in fourth place in the Central Division. Hutton finished with 16 saves.
“They (Blues) played a good game,” Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said. “They came in here (SAP Center) desperate and they were really solid and we weren’t. So we got to do more to help ourselves.”
Scratched: Tim Heed, Ryan Carpenter
Injured: David Schlemko (lower body), Melker Karlsson (lower body)
The Sharks return to action Saturday night when they host the Anaheim Ducks (37-23-10) at 7:30 p.m. PST on CSCA and PT25.