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Conference Final

Blues try to stay positive after heartbreaking Game 3 loss to Sharks

Feel they played well, must build off that to get back into Western Final

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- After the St. Louis Blues lost in heartbreaking fashion to the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, a game they controlled for most of the third period, they were already talking about the urgency of preparing the right way for Game 4.

The Blues allowed the tying goal by Logan Couture with 1:01 remaining in the third period, then lost 5-4 on Erik Karlsson's second goal of the game at 5:23 of overtime at Enterprise Center on Wednesday.

Karlsson's winner came after an apparent hand pass in the offensive zone, but the play was not reviewable.


[RELATED: Complete Sharks vs. Blues series coverage]


"Well, it's difficult to lose in overtime and [the Stanley Cup] Playoffs anytime," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "We've got to move on and get ready for Game 4. Really, that's all you can do. We played a solid hockey game, but we're on the losing end of it and there's nothing we can do about what happened. We just have to move on."

Video: SJS@STL, Gm3: Karlsson wins it in OT with second goal

The Sharks lead the best-of-7 series 2-1 with Game 4 here on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).

Resiliency will be critical for the Blues after the way the Sharks rallied in Game 3.

"We did in the last series," captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "We were down against Dallas and came back [winning the second-round series in seven games]. We were down 2-0 tonight and came back.

"Again, we know how to look in the mirror and we know how to get better. We felt we had control of a lot of the game, so we'll use that recipe for next game. We've got depth. We just keep on playing and we play everybody. We just keep on pushing."

The Sharks opened a 2-0 lead in the first period in Game 3 on goals by Karlsson and Joe Thornton but trailed 4-3 after two periods when the Blues came to life with four second-period goals.

They held the lead until the final minute of the third period when the Sharks had pulled goalie Martin Jones for an extra attacker.

"We're a tough group in here," forward Alex Steen said. "I thought we came out good in the first 10 minutes and then kind of let our game slip a little bit but regrouped here in the room and came out and had a solid second. We'll do the same here in between games. We'll look back at this one and clean some things up. I think our execution, especially neutral zone stuff, will be a little bit crisper. We'll move forward and go onto Game 4 here."

Video: SJS@STL: Berube speaks on challenges in Game 3 loss

Turning the page on a difficult ending is the only option, Steen said.

"That's playoffs," he said. "Got to get ready for Game 4.

"[It's about] mental toughness. This is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You're going to get some bounces. Some bounces aren't going to go your way, so you've just got to move forward. You've got to live in the present moment."

Whether it was a hand pass that preceded Karlsson's winner came up repeatedly in the Blues locker room. David Perron, who scored his fourth and fifth goals of the playoffs, said it no longer mattered.

"It was, but let's move forward, and that's what we'll try to do here in the next 24 hours," Perron said. "We're a really good team in here. We feel our first 10 minutes were awesome and then they score two goals, kind of put us on our heels, and we found a way to come back in the second with a good period, then a really good third period, they get a bounce and we played well in overtime as well.

"We're going to have to go to bed tonight and come back here with a smile on our face and make some adjustments that we can make and keep playing our game."


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