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Western Conference Final, Gm 1: SJS at STL

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Elliott proving to be sure thing for Blues

Goalie makes 31 saves in Game 1 win against Sharks

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

ST. LOUIS -- This was in-your-face hockey. You knew it in the first period Sunday, when the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks established themselves in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. Blues captain David Backes grabbed Sharks center Joe Thornton's big, bushy, beautiful beard and yanked it while Thornton tried to tug at Backes' relative stubble.

"Yeah, just seeing whose was real and making sure they weren't glued-on," Backes said. "It seemed like both checked out."

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playoffs

Sharks win battle, lose war to Blues in Game 1

San Jose's stellar play against St. Louis undone by Burns' costly mistake

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / NHL.com Director, Editorial

ST. LOUIS -- The San Jose Sharks won the battle in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, but the war went to the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Sunday.

A tentative, feeling-out process of a first period ended tied after Blues forward David Backes and Sharks forward Tomas Hertl scored goals 34 seconds apart.

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playoffs

Blues win special-teams battle in Game 1

Shut down Sharks power play, score on one of two man-advantage chances

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Special teams were the difference for the St. Louis Blues in their 2-1 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Scottrade Center on Sunday.

St. Louis scored on one of its two power-play opportunities and was 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

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playoffs

Sharks must put Game 1 loss behind them

San Jose feels it didn't get the bounces, believes adjustments will help tie series

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / NHL.com Director of Editorial

ST. LOUIS -- The ability to put losses in the rearview mirror is paramount in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

No team has ever gone 16-0 to win a championship, so dealing with losses is a necessary, and underrated, skill.

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playoffs

Instant analysis: Sharks at Blues, Game 1

Elliott the difference maker for Blues; Sharks trail in a series for first time this postseason

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Scottrade Center on Sunday.

Jori Lehtera scored the winning goal 9:15 into the second period, and goaltender Brian Elliott made 31 saves for the Blues, who were outshot 32-23. St. Louis captain David Backes and San Jose forward Tomas Hertl scored in the first period.

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playoffs

Stats: Burns vs. Pietrangelo, Game 1

Sharks defenseman has assist; Blues defenseman's ice time slightly decreases

by Shawn Roarke @sroarke_nhl / NHL.com Director, Editorial

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Scottrade Center on Sunday.

Game 2 of this best-of-7 series is in St. Louis on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Here is a look inside the in-game and in-series matchup between Sharks defenseman Brent Burns and Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo:

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game recap

Elliott, Blues hang on to defeat Sharks in Game 1

Goalie makes 31 saves, St. Louis grabs lead in Western Conference Final

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Jori Lehtera scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and Brian Elliott made 31 saves to help the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Scottrade Center on Sunday.

Game 2 is in St. Louis on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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playoffs

Blues' Backes tugs on beard of Sharks' Thornton

St. Louis captain gets fistful of legendary facial hair

by NHL.com @NHL / NHL.com

Backes' beard tug on Thornton

SJS@STL, Gm1: Backes and Thornton exchange beard tugs

WCF, Gm1: David Backes tugs on Joe Thornton's beard as the two cross paths during a line change late in the 1st period

  • 00:27 •

St. Louis Blues captain David Backes is known as a player you hate to play against, and he gave that title new meaning for San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday.

With a little less than a minute left in the first period, and the Sharks on a power play, Backes and Thornton got tangled up on the boards near the Blues bench. The two exchanged words before Backes thought it was necessary to check out Thornton's impressive beard, tugging on the long, bushy, gray patch of hair to make sure it was real and not just a prop used during the filming of "Lord of the Rings."

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playoffs

Sharks, Blues trade goals 34 seconds apart in Game 1

San Jose's Hertl ties it after St. Louis' Backes opens scoring in first period

by NHL.com @NHL / NHL.com

Backes' tip-in goal on power play

SJS@STL, Gm1: Backes opens the scoring late in 1st

WCF, Gm1: David Backes redirects Kevin Shattenkirk's wrist shot into the twine, lighting the lamp with his seventh goal of the playoffs

  • 00:59 •

The St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks exchanged goals 34 seconds apart in the first period of Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Scottrade Center on Sunday.

The Blues' David Backes deflected defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk's shot on the power play past Sharks goalie Martin Jones to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 15:04.

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playoffs

Puck gets lost in Thornton's equipment

Play stopped early in first after shot disappears in Sharks center's gear

by NHL.com @NHL / NHL.com

Puck gets lost in Thornton's gear

SJS@STL, Gm1: Puck disappears in Thornton's equipment

WCF, Gm1: Play is halted after the puck gets lost in Joe Thornton's equipment in the first minute of the game

  • 00:46 •

A puck disappeared in the equipment of San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, stopping play early in the first period in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Sunday.

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns took a slap shot from near the blue line, and the puck found its way through Blues defenders before hitting Thornton in front. Thornton immediately detected the puck was caught inside his jersey and skated off to the San Jose bench.

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