The first casualty of the NHL Playoff derby are the St. Louis Blues, their players the first this playoff season to line up and shake hands. Blues players wrapping their season by wishing the San Jose Sharks well as they continue the journey. It took the Sharks only five games to dismiss the Blues, Evgeni Nabokov once again the story of the series, St. Louis controlled most of the play through the game, missing a few empty nets but mostly watched Nabokov lay waste to any dreams of further play this year.
The San Jose goaltender faced 21 shots in the 3-1 victory, several of them in the late minutes of the third period as St. Louis desperately tried to tie the score to send the game to overtime. But down by a two goal deficit it ended up a lost cause, San Jose’s defense providing Nabokov with enough support to send the Blues packing.
San Jose received goals from Mark Smith, Mike Ricci and Brad Stuart. The lone St. Louis goal came from Brian Savage but it wasn’t enough and the Blues just couldn’t find the holes on Nabokov to get the win to stay alive.
For San Jose this has been quite a turn around year, from last years 14th place finish, the Sharks have become the number 3 seed in the West this year. With a team high 104 points, they quickly proved in this series that they are for real this year. The Sharks now get almost one week of rest before they find out who the next competitor will be. One thing they know for sure, Game 1 will be back at the Shark tank all that’s missing is the name of the next bait.