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game recap

Elliott, Blues hold off Sharks

Goalie makes 37 saves; loss prevents San Jose from clinching playoff berth

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- It didn't take St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott long to get back in a groove after missing 10 games with a knee injury.

Elliott made 37 saves for his second straight shutout, Robby Fabbri scored a third-period goal and the St. Louis Blues prevented the San Jose Sharks from clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 1-0 victory at SAP Center on Tuesday.

Elliott, who made 19 saves in a 3-0 victory at the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, earned his third shutout of the season.

"We kept their chances to a minimum tonight again, just like Vancouver," Elliott said. "What chances they did [have] I could see. It's just about battling. It's kind of a playoff atmosphere out there. Tough rink to play in with big bodies all over the ice. I thought our guys handled it really well."

Video: STL@SJS: Elliot denies Martin to keep it scoreless

Fabbri scored at 9:55 on a 2-on-1 rush after chasing down a loose puck in the neutral zone. He skated to the lower right circle, faked a pass to Paul Stastny and beat Martin Jones with a snap shot to the near side for his 17th goal of the season. Troy Brouwer and Jay Bouwmeester had the assists.

"Originally I thought [defenseman Justin Braun] was coming at me so I was going to pass it across to Stastny there," Fabbri said. "But [Braun] backed off and I had a little bit of time. I waited out the D-man to give myself a shot and put it in."

Braun said he initially thought about going "at him right away' but didn't want to give up the cross-ice pass to Stastny.

"You want to play it different after the fact," Braun said. "I wish I had gone at him now."

Video: STL@SJS: Backes delivers big hit on Thornton in 3rd

The Sharks got a power play with 2:45 remaining in the third period when defenseman Carl Gunnarsson was called for delay of game. The Sharks pulled Jones with 53 seconds left on the power play, giving them a 5-on-3 advantage. Fifteen seconds later, Blues forward David Backes was called for high-sticking Joe Pavelski, giving San Jose a 6-on-3 edge for 38 seconds.

Elliott caught Brent Burns' shot from the point with 52.6 seconds left. He made a save on another blast by Burns with less than 15 seconds left, then caught Pavelski's shot from the slot with 4.8 seconds remaining.

"We took away lanes," Elliott said. "[Joe] Thornton was holding onto the side of the net there, and we kind of just took away everything, and when they did have something they let me see it. It was huge. That's a big kill for our team and especially at this time of year."

Elliott made nine saves during the Sharks' power plays in the closing minutes.

Video: STL@SJS: Elliot bats away Pavelski's snap shot

"You don't coach for 6-on-3," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We didn't even know what to say. They had so many one-timers. Guys were locked and loaded. They just couldn't get them the puck. We really got in the lanes well. We really took their seam plays away. It was a good hockey game. Both teams played really hard, really well. It was a playoff game."

Jones finished with 23 saves for the Sharks (41-26-6). 

The Blues (43-22-9) remained two points behind the first-place Dallas Stars in the Central Division and moved four points ahead of the third-place Chicago Blackhawks. The Stars clinched a playoff berth with a 6-2 victory against Chicago at United Center.

Jones finished with 23 saves for the Sharks (41-26-6).

Video: STL@SJS: Fabbri makes nifty move for lead in the 3rd

The Blues (43-22-9) remained two points behind the first-place Dallas Stars in the Central Division and moved four points ahead of the third-place Chicago Blackhawks. The Stars clinched a playoff berth with a 6-2 victory against Chicago at United Center.

The Sharks remained five points behind the first-place Los Angeles Kings and one behind the second-place Anaheim Ducks by in the Pacific Division. The Kings and Ducks each lost on Tuesday.

The Sharks would have clinched a playoff berth with a win in any fashion or an Arizona Coyotes loss in regulation to the Edmonton Oilers. But the Coyotes defeated Edmonton 4-2.

"We came on at the end a little bit, but we didn't get one by him," Pavelski said of Elliott. "It's tough. We're disappointed we lost there. We had an opportunity on the power play. We've got to come up with a big one there.

"Teams aren't losing much this time of the year and we had a chance to push it at least to overtime. It's a missed opportunity for sure. There aren't many games left to really make up a lot of points so you've got to make a chance like that count."

St. Louis finished 3-2-0 on its road trip and returns home to play the Canucks on Friday. San Jose continues a six-game homestand against the Oilers on Thursday.

Video: Fabbri scores lone goal in 3rd as Blues blank Sharks

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