The San Jose Sharks opened the Western Conference finals against the St. Louis Blues in the best possible way, trashing the rivals from Missouri in Game 1 with 6-3.
The home team played the first and the second period excellently, and they created a solid distance which was preserved in the final sequence.
Logan Couture and Timo Meier both netted two goals, and had one assist apiece.
Couture opened the contest early in the first. With 3:31 into the match, the Sharks’ center sent a one-timer past Jordan Binnington, after a 2-on-1 break with Gustav Nyquist.
Joel Edmundson tied the score, after 9:13 in the first. Martin Jones saved Jaden Schwartz’s shot, but Edmundson was there tip it in. But this didn’t last too long, as Joe Pavelski’s powerplay goal once again brought the lead to the home team.
The first signs that the home team might be pulling away came in the second period, when Kevin Labanc raised to 3-1 with a wrist shot from the slot.
The guests tried to bounce back and they did for a moment, with Ryan O’Reilly’s goal some 77 seconds later. But then came Timo Meier. The right winger took one loose puck and did everything on his own, beating Binnington with a backhand. Previously, Couture battled for a puck with Colton Parayko, which eventually ended in Meier’s possession.
With 2:26 left in the second, Meier struck again. Only this time, he had more luck, as his shot deflected off Vince Dunn and deceived Binnington.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) May 12, 2019
The third period was a bit different, and the Blues had the initiative. Tyler Bozak decreased the gap some seven minutes before the end of the match, and in those moments the guests were better.
They tried to be more aggressive and to cut the lead, which is why Craig Berube pulled away Binnington from the goal, putting in an extra attacker.
It was a perfect situation for Logan Couture who posted his second goal on an empty net with 2:21 to go, and sealed San Jose’s victory.
Game 2 will take place on Monday at the SAP Center. It starts at 8 p.m. local time.