2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals - Game 3
#2 St. Louis Blues at #7 San Jose Sharks
7:00 PM (Pacific) - HP Pavilion - San Jose, CA TV: CSN California HD | RADIO: KFOX 98.5/102.1 FM
The San Jose Sharks face the #2 seed St. Louis Blues in Game 3 in the best of seven Western Conference First Round Stanley Cup Playoffs in San Jose on Monday. This is the 28th playoff series in franchise history for the Sharks (13-14) and the 4th playoff series meeting vs. the St. Louis Blues.
Previous Playoff Series vs. the Blues (all Quarterfinals series in the Western Conference)
2003-04 – the #2 seed San Jose Sharks defeat the #7 seed St. Louis Blues 4-1
2000-01 – the #4 seed St. Louis Blues defeat the #5 seed San Jose Sharks 4-3
1999-00 – the #8 seed San Jose Sharks defeat the #1 seed St. Louis Blues 4-3
RECAP GAME 2:
The St. Louis Blues tied up the best of seven series 1-1 with a 3-0 win in Game 2 on Saturday night behind 12 saves by Jaroslav Halak and 19 by Brian Elliott. Vladimir Sobotka scored in the first, David Backes in the second, and Andy McDonald in the third period.
The game featured four sets of fighting majors and included a game ending brawl that saw Justin Braun and Douglas Murray receiving majors for fighting and game misconducts.
After a 3-2 win in double overtime in Game 1 for the Sharks, the Blues returned back to regular season form by blanking the Sharks in Game 2. A lucky bounce (Vlasic firing puck into own net) for the Blues in the first two minutes of Game 2 gave the young Blues all the momentum they needed to tie the series.
Game 2 took a nasty tone with the two teams combining for 132 penalty minutes which should set for a rather intense Game 3 in San Jose.
Let’s break it down through Game 2:
THE BIG THREE:
The Sharks top line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau , and Joe Pavelski have yet to find a point through the first two games. That will have to change if the Sharks are to win the series. The Big Three combined for 79 goals in the regular season.
Brian Elliott is expected to get the Start for the Blues stepping in relief of an injured Jaroslav Halak in Game 2. Elliott had a 1.56GAA and a .940 save percentage during the regular season. The Sharks need to get traffic in front of Elliott to be successful in Game 3.
Game 3…San Jose is 17-10 all-time in Game 3’s with an 8-3 record at home all-time.
OT in Game 3?... six of the last Game 3’s for the Sharks have ended up in OT with the Sharks going 3-3 in those games,
Joe Thornton holds the Sharks playoffs record with 52 career assists and third with five game winning goals.
"No one's backing down and we believe in here that we're going to be there right at the end. This is when we need to rise up, this is our chance and our time. It's a good series for us."
The Sharks can’t wait to get things kicked off for Game 3 tonight at the HP Pavilion with the series tied at 1-1. San Jose wanted to win one game on the road in St. Louis, and they did just that as they head home with home ice advantage. Game 3’s are always HUGE, especially when the series is tied at 1-1. Look for the Sharks to come out flying in Game 3 by building off the energy of the home crowd. Coach McLellan will have the final line change on home ice and watch for favorable matchups for the Sharks top line of Thornton, Marleau, and Pavelski.
by Eric Lindquist, SJSHARKS.com
BLUES at SHARKS
(Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1)
TV: TSN, NBCSN, RDS, FS-MW (HD), CSN-CA (HD)
Big Story: The Sharks, who needed a win on the final night of the regular season just to secure the seventh spot in the Western Conference, return home with a much-needed split of the first two games in St. Louis.
Blues: St. Louis will be without starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak for Game 3, as he was forced to leave Saturday night's 3-0 win at the Scottrade Center due to a lower-body injury. Halak was hurt when Blues defenseman Barret Jackman collided with his goaltender early in the second period.
With Halak out, Brian Elliott will get the start for St. Louis. Elliott is coming off a phenomenal season that saw him go 23-10-4 with a 1.56 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.
"We're lucky because we've been a two-man rotation since Day 1 here," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "You don't expect something like this to happen but it does. We're lucky we're in the situation we're in. We have two good goalies, a 1 and a 1A literally. Both guys have played in pretty much every building and both guys have played well in every building. For us, we don't miss a beat."
Sharks: More than 130 penalty minutes were handed out during Game 2, and San Jose knows it must remain focused on the task at hand -- victories -- if it hopes of ousting the second-seeded Blues. Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Sunday that he liked the way his team responded to what transpired Saturday night, but wins are more important.
"There's a lot of emotion in playoffs," McLellan said. "We see that in each of the games played. At the end of the day, you've got to score more goals than the other team. You don't get to move on for winning the scraps and being in the penalty box more. We've got to control our emotions, we've got to focus our attention on the task at hand and not get wrapped up in all the other stuff that happens."
Who's Hot: The Blues' power play has connected for a goal in each of the first two games and is operating at 22.2 percent (2-for-9) in the series.
Injury Report: Halak is currently the only injured player on the Blues' roster. … Sharks forward Dominic Moore suffered a broken nose in the final moments of Game 2, but is expected to play Monday night.
Stat Pack: The Sharks are 1-for-7 on the power play in the series. They went 1-for-15 via the man advantage against St. Louis during the regular season.
Puck Drop: "If [the Blues are] going to take some penalties, undisciplined penalties, we have to make them pay for it. [Saturday] night, we weren't as good as we were in Game 1. We were a little disjointed, so we'll look at fixing that." -- Sharks coach Todd McLellan