From dead last to the championship series, the St. Louis Blues have returned to the Stanley Cup Final after a 49-year absence with a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.
David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev scored for St. Louis, while rookie sensation Jordan Binnington made 25 saves to extend his historical run in goal.
Erasing a 2-1 deficit to take the series, the Blues won the war of attrition. They thinned out the herd for San Jose with a devotion to physicality, taking three of its top players — Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl — out of the series with their commitment to heavy hockey.
Maybe with more space to work with, the Blues’ top players emerged after a challenging start to the postseason. Tarasenko in particular broke out against the Sharks, collecting eight points in the series after being limited to five through the first two rounds, while the consistently snakebitten Schenn scored a massive goal in Tuesday’s elimination contest, while Ryan O’Reilly chipped in with three assists.
St. Louis will meet and talented, experienced and well-rested Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, and will be the underdog when Vegas sets the line. But the Blues have been the most successful team in hockey for months now, and have earned their keep.
Last place in the NHL on Jan. 3, St. Louis has risen with a 42-17-5 since in the regular season and playoffs combined.
This amazing run will culminate in the Stanley Cup Final.
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