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Conference Final

Blues have reasons to be confident in Game 5 against Sharks

Have handled adversity, played well on road in playoffs

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues are confident heading back on the road for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday at SAP Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 after the Blues defeated the Sharks 2-1 in Game 4 on Friday.

"We're a confident group. We're a good road team and it's getting to our game early," center Ryan O'Reilly said. "Again we're taking it one game at a time and we want to get out there and establish our game right away. We tied the series. It's a best-of-3 now and we have to start preparing for the next one."


[RELATED: Complete Sharks vs. Blues series coverage]


This is St. Louis' third straight series that is even heading into Game 5. They won Game 5 at the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, 3-2, after trailing 2-0 going into the third period, and lost 2-1 on home ice to the Dallas Stars before rallying to win the second round in seven games.

Those experiences provide the Blues a level of confidence as does being 6-2 on the road this postseason.

Video: Binnington sharp in net, Blues win Game 4

"I think they do an extremely good job of it, but I reinforce it as much as possible," coach Craig Berube said. "We have meetings and talk to players individually and things like that. But on a day to day basis, they look pretty confident every game. They feel good about everything, the way it's going. 

"There are ups and downs in the playoffs and a lot of stuff that goes on, calls that don't go your way. You get puck luck, then you don't get puck luck. They have good heads on their shoulders and we're in a good spot. We knew it was going to be a long series and just got to keep pushing. We'll try to go out and try to get that win tomorrow."

The Sharks have played well on home ice, going 7-3 in 10 postseason games, including winning Games 1, 5 and 7 at home in each of the first two rounds against the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche.

The Blues got an early jump in winning Game 2 in this series at San Jose, scoring early and taking control late to win 4-2.

Video: Barbashev scores early, Blues win Game 4

"Getting off to a good start in that building is important," Berube said. "That team starts extremely fast there. It's a loud building, but we went through that already in Winnipeg, had good success, so our team's accustomed to that. But just manage the puck early in the game and getting off to a good start's important. They start fast in the first period, they win a lot of games in the first period. We have to be ready to go. It's an early start, so we have to be ready to go. Get the puck deep and get to work."

Blues defenseman Vince Dunn, who missed Game 4 because of an upper-body injury, will not make the trip for Game 5, but forward Sammy Blais will be available to play, according to Berube. Blais blocked a shot by Sharks defenseman Brent Burns in the third period Friday and did not play the rest of the game; he did stay on the bench.

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