Mon, May 13, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Sharks draw blood, feasting on Blues’ errors in Game 1

AFP, SAN JOSE, California

Timo Meier on Saturday scored two unanswered goals in the second period as the San Jose Sharks routed the mistake-prone St Louis Blues 6-3 in the opening game of their NHL Western Conference final series.

Switzerland’s Meier also added an assist to go with his pair of goals, helping the Sharks get off to a roaring start in the best-of-seven series that will see the winner advance to the Stanley Cup finals.

“He was a bull,” Sharks forward Logan Couture said of Meier. “With how he skates and his strength, he’s tough to defend. You saw the talent on the one where he was able to walk around the defenseman and finish. He’s a really good player and he’s coming into his own right now.”

San Jose dominated from the opening whistle, leading 2-1 at the end of the first period and 5-2 at the end of the second period.

The bumbling Blues were their own worst enemy in Game 1: taking bad penalties, giving up odd-man rushes and causing turnovers that led directly to San Jose goals.

“There were a few too many mistakes out there,” St Louis’ Joel Edmundson said. “Whenever there was one they capitalized on it. They really capitalized on every chance they got. That was the biggest difference in tonight’s game.”

Couture also scored twice for the Sharks, one into an empty net, while Joe Pavelski and Kevin Labanc added singles. Goalie Martin Jones made 28 saves.

Ryan O’Reilly, Edmundson and Tyler Bozak scored for the Blues, while goalie Jordan Binnington stopped 19 shots.

Game 2 is today in San Jose as the Sharks try to use their home ice advantage in the series to reach just their second Stanley Cup final in franchise history.

The Blues last reached the championship round in 1970 — which is remembered for Bobby Orr’s high-flying overtime winning goal.

Meier did not fly through the air like Orr, but he did score one of the prettiest goals of the post-season halfway through the contest to make it 4-2.

Like Orr, the Swiss maestro’s timing was perfect. Meier danced around flat-footed Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and then made Binnington look silly by faking one way before reaching back with one hand on his stick and slipping the puck into an open side.

The move was made famous by Swedish superstar Peter Forsberg — the Swedes even used it on a postage stamp.

Meier scored again seven minutes later with his fifth goal of the playoffs to put the game out of reach.

“We had a lot of energy on home ice to start the series,” Meier said of Herisau. “We want to get better as the series goes on.”

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