Preview: Sharks at Blues
The San Jose Sharks aren't just facing a deficit heading back to St. Louis for Game 6 of their Western Conference final, they are also facing questions about the availability of some key cogs in their lineup. Coach Peter DeBoer, however, shed little light on the topic ahead of the Sharks' potential elimination game against the Blues on Tuesday at Enterprise Center.
San Jose captain Joe Pavelski (upper body), two-time Norris Trophy recipient Erik Karlsson (undisclosed) and Tomas Hertl (upper body) missed significant time in Sunday's 5-0 setback to St. Louis while Joonas Donskoi (upper body) returned after being injured earlier in the contest. "We've dealt with this before and guys have stepped in and got the job done," DeBoer told reporters on Monday. "People can write us off but I know in our room we know we've got guys that can get in there and get this done." The Blues have outscored the Sharks 7-1 since the controversial hand-pass goal that ended Game 3 and could punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970 with one more victory. "I don't know what to say, but yeah, we're close," Blues forward and St. Louis native Patrick Maroon told reporters. "We're very close right now. I think the guys know that. It's in the back of their heads. But we know that that's a good hockey team over there too, and they're not going to give up."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, TVA
ABOUT THE SHARKS: While San Jose owns a 4-0 mark in elimination games this postseason, the injury-riddled roster provides an added hurdle if it plans to return to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2016. "We're still alive," Sharks forward Logan Couture told reporters. "We've been in this spot before, going to Vegas down 3-2 in a very difficult building. St. Louis is similar, it's a tough building against a good team. A structured team." The 30-year-old Couture has six goals and seven points in eight road games this postseason, although he has been held off the scoresheet in back-to-back contests overall.
ABOUT THE BLUES: Jaden Schwartz netted his second hat trick of the 2019 playoffs on Sunday to boost his goal total to 12, which resides one behind Brett Hull's franchise postseason record set in 1980. "That's something you don't really think about before the game," the 26-year-old Schwartz told reporters about getting a hat trick. "You're just kind of preparing the way you usually do and get focused for the game and help the team. Sometimes you get some bounces your way and you never score a goal by yourself. You need your linemates, your D, (Jordan Binnington) to make big saves, timely saves." Binnington has done that, as the 25-year-old made 21 saves for the first shutout by a St. Louis rookie goaltender in the playoffs and has turned aside 50 of 51 shots in his last two contests since yielding five goals on 32 shots in Game 3.
1. San Jose will need to become the second team (Los Angeles) to win three Game 7s to reach the Stanley Cup Final.
2. The Blues have lost five of nine contests in the Gateway City as opposed to just two of nine on the road.
3. Sharks G Martin Jones has permitted at least four goals in three of his last four games after reaching that total just twice in his previous 12.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Sharks 1