SAN JOSE–St. Louiscompleted a four-game sweep of the season series with the San Jose Sharks by rolling to a 3-1 win Saturday night at sold-out HP Pavilion.
Facing 18 games to play in the regular season, the Sharks remain two points behindPhoenixin the struggle for the Pacific Division title. Sitting in seventh place in the Western Conference,San Josemust avoid falling victim to more than two of the six teams within seven points below them in the standings.
For the third consecutive game, head coach Todd McLellan was not able to direct the Sharks from behind the bench because of the concussion suffered last Sunday.
“I feel better every day,” McLellan said Saturday after facing the media for a few minutes after the morning skate.
McLellan directed the Sharks’ Friday practice. “I felt real good that morning, then not so good after that,” McLellan said. “Typical concussion-like symptoms,” McLellan described his feeling since the injury occurred.
San Joseplays host to the Edmonton Oilers, the team 14th in the conference standings, Tuesday night before starting a four-game roadtrip Thursday inDallas.
The Blues kept the Sharks from scoring a goal for a span of over 166 minutes since a goal 11:18 into the second period of the first encounter of the season, Oct. 15.
Torrey Mitchell managed to snap that scoreless streak when his low shot from the outside edge of the left circle dipped under goaltender Jaroslav Halak at 15:29 of the second period.
Mitchell’s sixth goal of the season allowed the Sharks to hold onto a 1-1 tie for 20 seconds. Right after Mitchell’s score, the Blues gained control in theSan Josezone on the next shift. Blue defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo one-timed a cross-ice pass from Vladimir Sobotka that T. J. Oshie redirected past goaltender Antti Niemi at the 15:49 mark.
The Blues scored the first of two power-play goals 2:52 into the first period. After Shark TJ Galiardi was called for high-sticking at 2:27, Patrick Marleau had an opportunity to score short-handed but was repelled by Halak. Blue Andy McDonald, drilling the puck from the blueline toward the endboards, scored into an empty net when the puck bounded at an odd angle in front of the crease as Niemi moved to the endboards in an unsuccessful move to gain possession.
St.Louis needed less than one minute of power play time in the second period to take a 3-1 lead. After Justin Braun was called for cross-checking at 11:39, Oshie powered toward the net with the puck. Niemi stopped Oshie’s advance but Kevin Stattenkirk pounced on a rebound and flipped the puck into the open net at 12:38.
The Blues finished with a 32-19 edge in shots on net.