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game recap

Blues hang on, top Sharks in Game 4

Binnington makes 29 saves to even Western series

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

Binnington's glove save

SJS@STL, Gm4: Binnington flashes leather on Karlsson

WCF, Gm4: Melker Karlsson fires a wide-open wrist shot from in front, but Jordan Binnington uses his glove to make the save in the 1st

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ST. LOUIS -- Jordan Binnington made 29 saves to help the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final at Enterprise Center on Friday.

The best-of-7 series is tied with Game 5 at San Jose on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Ivan Barbashev and Tyler Bozak scored first-period goals for St. Louis.


[WATCH: Sharks vs. Blues Game 4 highlights | Complete series coverage]


Binnington got his 10th win of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and is the 10th rookie goalie in NHL history with at least that many in one postseason. He also set a Blues record for most wins in one postseason, passing Brian Elliott (2016) and Roman Turek (2001).

"That's a great honor obviously," Binnington said. "I'm having a lot of fun back here playing with this team. They're doing a great job. They limited their chances tonight. We played a complete game. I just tried to do my job."

Video: Clutch Performance: Binnington sets franchise record

Tomas Hertl scored, and Martin Jones made 20 saves for the Sharks.

"It was a tough first obviously," San Jose defenseman Brent Burns said. "After that I think we battled back there, had some good looks. I think we got better. We have to have better. That's a great team over there. Still looking for a solid 60 (minutes) I think."

The Blues rebounded from losing Game 3 5-4 in overtime Wednesday when an apparent hand pass resulted in the winning goal by Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson.

"Obviously there's different ways to handle that situation, and we did it perfect," St. Louis forward Vladimir Tarasenko said. "The atmosphere inside the locker room was good too. It's not separate us, it's keep us more together. What else can we do? We were down by one, and now we're tied. We did what we planned to, and the next game will be really important for us."

Barbashev's first playoff goal gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 35 seconds of the first period. After St. Louis forward Alexander Steen forced Burns into a turnover on the forecheck, Barbashev's shot from the left face-off circle deflected in off Sharks forward Gustav Nyquist.

Video: SJS@STL, Gm4: Barbashev scores in opening minute

Bozak made it 2-0 on the power play with 2:07 remaining in the period. Sharks defenseman Justin Braun kicked a loose puck between Jones' legs after Pat Maroon tipped Tarasenko's shot from above the left circle and Bozak got a stick on it.

"We wanted to have a really good start, and we sure did with [Barbashev's] goal and added to it with [Bozak's]," Blues forward David Perron said. "It was a really good first period. We back off after that, but we got the win and that's what matters."

Bozak's power-play goal was the Blues' second in three man-advantages dating to the second period of Game 3. They did not score on their previous 18.

"We kind of were stressing we've got to get more pucks to the net with traffic," Bozak said. "We were just kind of passing it around the outside a little bit too much." 

Video: SJS@STL, Gm4: Bozak records power-play goal in front

Hertl scored a power-play goal on a rebound to make it 2-1 at 6:48 of the third period after Binnington made the save on Burns' one-timer from the left circle.

"Gave up two quick ones but we battled, we had our chances," San Jose captain Joe Pavelski said. "We felt we sustained some attack for a while and came up a little short, but definitely room for improvement for sure."

Video: SJS@STL, Gm4: Hertl buries loose puck for PPG


They said it

"We're in the Western Conference [Final] 2-2 against a really good team. I feel pretty good. We've got home-ice advantage so yeah, I feel good." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer

"We just talked about you know, you've got to just move on. The call, you can't change it now. It is what it is. I think we talked in terms like that game we had a one-goal lead, we could have closed it out then and we didn't. We let it go to overtime, and the only difference tonight, we closed it out with a one-goal lead." -- Blues coach Craig Berube on bouncing back after losing Game 3


Need to know

Karlsson had an assist on Hertl's goal and leads the playoffs with 14. ... Two of Burns' 16 shot attempts were on goal; seven were blocked. ... San Jose had 73 shot attempts; St. Louis had 35. ... Bozak has four points (two goals, two assists) the past five games.


What's next

Game 5 of Western Conference Final at SAP Center on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS, SN)

Video: Blues win Game 4, even series with Sharks

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