Skip to main content

Headlines

playoffs

Instant analysis: Blues at Sharks, Game 4

Allen, Brouwer, Brodziak help St. Louis defeat San Jose, tie Western Final

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

SAN JOSE -- The St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-3 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final at SAP Center on Saturday, tying the best-of-7 series 2-2.

The Blues jumped out to a 4-0 lead and chased Sharks goaltender Martin Jones for backup James Reimer midway through the second period after going 156:59 without a goal; they never let their lead dwindle to fewer than three.

Kyle Brodziak and Troy Brouwer each had two goals, and Jori Lehtera and Alex Pietrangelo (empty net) each had one for the Blues. Goaltender Jake Allen made 31 saves and won his first start in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Joe Pavelski, Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson scored for the Sharks.

What we learned: The Blues are back in it. After being outplayed for much of Game 1 and the majority of Games 2 and 3, they got back to their identity: exiting their zone better, generating speed through the neutral zone and getting in on the forecheck. They were excellent on special teams: 2-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill with a shorthanded goal. Captain David Backes left late in the first period and forward Robby Fabbri left early in the third with apparent injuries, however.

Video: STL@SJS, Gm4: Brouwer pads the Blues' lead in the 3rd

What this means for the Blues: The Blues reclaimed home-ice advantage, although they're 4-5 at Scottrade Center in the postseason. They are tied 2-2 for the second straight series. In the second round against the Dallas Stars, they won Game 5 on the road, lost Game 6 at home and won Game 7 on the road.

What this means for the Sharks: The Sharks lost for the second time in eight home games and remain two wins from their first Stanley Cup Final. They gave up home-ice advantage, but won Game 2 in St. Louis. They are also tied 2-2 tie for the second straight series. In the second round against the Nashville Predators, they won Game 5 at home, lost Game 6 on the road in overtime and won Game 7 at home.

Key moment: The vaunted Sharks power play had a chance to cut the Blues' lead to 2-1 early in the second period, but made it 3-0 instead. Sharks center Joe Thornton, one of the best passers in hockey, attempted one across the St. Louis zone and no one was there. Brodziak and Jaden Schwartz took off on a 2-on-1 against Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Schwartz passed from left to right and Brodziak fired the puck into the upper left corner past Jones for a shorthanded goal.

Video: STL@SJS, Gm4: Brodziak scores his second of the night

Unsung player of the game: Fabbri keyed the Blues' strong start. He assisted on their first goal, feeding Brouwer on the power play. He didn't receive an assist for their second goal, but after Jones made a spectacular save to stop him, the puck bounced in front to Lehtera, who buried it. Fabbri set up another great chance later in the first period when he slipped the puck around Jones' right pad into the crease. Sharks defenseman Brent Burns prevented Vladimir Tarasenko from tapping it in.

What's next: Game 5 is at Scottrade Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

View More