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Sharks set to face Blues in Western Final

San Jose won two of three games against St. Louis in regular season

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

The San Jose Sharks advanced to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2011 with a 5-0 victory against the Nashville Predators in Game 7 of the second round at SAP Center on Thursday.

They will play the St. Louis Blues, who are in the conference final for the first time since 2001 after a 6-1 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the second round Wednesday.

Game 1 of the Western Final is at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Sharks have never reached the Stanley Cup Final.

St. Louis has not advanced to the Final since 1970. The Blues made the Final in each of their first three seasons in the NHL (1968-70) but were swept each time. They lost the 2001 Western Final to the Colorado Avalanche in five games.

Video: NSH@SJS, Gm7: Sharks advance to WCF with Game 7 win

St. Louis and San Jose have played four times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; each team won twice. The Blues won the most recent series, the 2012 conference quarterfinals, in five games.

Forward Logan Couture's 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) lead the Sharks in the playoffs. Brent Burns has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) to lead all defensemen, and forward Joe Pavelski's nine goals are tied with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov for the League lead.

San Jose goalie Martin Jones has started all 12 postseason games (8-4, 2.16 goals-against average, .918 save percentage, one shutout).

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues with seven playoff goals and has six assists; center Robby Fabbri also has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists). Forward David Backes has 12 points (six goals, six assists), and forward Jaden Schwartz has 11 (three goals, eight assists).

Video: STL@DAL, Gm7: Blues advance to WCF with 6-1 win

Goalie Brian Elliott has started all 14 playoff games (8-6, 2.29 GAA, .929 save percentage, one shutout).

The Sharks defeated the Blues in two of three games during the regular season. They won twice in St. Louis and lost 1-0 at home on March 22.

Sharks center Joe Thornton had three goals and two assists against the Blues. Pavelski and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic each had three assists. Jones was 2-1-0 with a 1.68 GAA and .937 save percentage.

St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (two goals, one assist) and Tarasenko (one goal, two assists) each had three points. Elliott (1-1-0) allowed six goals on 84 shots, and Jake Allen stopped 15 of 17 shots in relief of Elliott in a 6-3 loss at Scottrade Center on Feb. 22.

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