Photo by: (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The season for St. Louis comes to an end at the hands of the San Jose Sharks after a 5-2 defeat in game six.
The win means the Sharks will advance to their first Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history.
In the loss, Ken Hitchcock elected to start Brian Elliott in between the pipes as he made 22 saves on 26 shots.
After recording 0 points through the first five games of the series, Vladamir Tarasenko came alive late in the third period with a pair of third-period goals, but they were not enough to overcome the four-goal hole.
The first period was all Sharks as their captain helped them jump out to an early lead.
With the puck deep in the defensive zone of the Sharks, Tomas Hertl won the puck battle and backhanded a puck high in the air out of the zone. The puck bounced as Joe Thornton snuck behind Jay Bouwmeester and a diving Alex Pietrangelo, corralled the puck and went in on a break away. Thornton shot as Elliott knocked the first attempt away, but Joe Pavelski picked up the rebound and curled behind the net. Pavelski tried a wrap around on the far post, kept jamming and scored under the pad of Elliott to make it 1-0 3:47 into the game.
The goal by Pavelski marks number 13 for him this postseason through 18 games, which leads all players this postseason.
San Jose continued to dominate in the second period with the lone goal and posting 19 shots through 40 minutes of play.
Chris Tierney worked the puck back to the blue line as Brent Burns collected the puck to his stick with his skates. With Tarasenko giving pressure, Burns hurried a shot on net as Joel Ward deflected it over the right shoulder of Elliott to make it 2-0 with 14:58 left in the second period.
In the third period, Joel Ward continued his scoring streak to give the Sharks a three-goal advantage. Patrick Marleau knocked the puck over to the side boards in the attacking end as Logan Couture picked it up, wheeled and found Ward back door for the easy tap in with 16:59 left in the game.
The Sharks smelled blood as Marleau entered the zone, curled back and fed Couture streaking into the zone. Couture quickly dished to Joonas Donskoi who fired a shot past the blocker of Elliott to make it 4-0 with 11:49 left in the season for the Blues.
St. Louis had one final breath in it as Tarasenko came alive.
Martin Jones fell to his side in desperation as the Blues held possession. Jori Lehtera passed in front to Tarasenko as he kicked to the blade and fired a shot over the downed Jones cutting the deficit to three with 7:21 left in the game.
The Blues pulled the goalie, and with under four minutes left, Tarasenko scored from the goal line making it 4-2.
However, the Sharks ended the comeback with an empty net goal to make it 5-2 ending the Blues season.
Next up, management will turn its eyes to free agency and the NHL Entry Draft in late June.