The Blues came up big in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to even the series 2-2. The Blues, down 2-1 in the series from huge San Jose performances in games 2 and 3, bounced back in game 4 to win 6-3.
After being outscored 7-0 in the last two games, St. Louis management made the choice to put in back-up goalie Jake Allen instead of Brian Elliot. Elliot had been solid in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but two shutout losses in games 2 and 3 was enough to sit him down. The Sharks stayed with starting goalie Martin Jones, who has also been lights out these playoffs.
St. Louis started the scoring in the 1st with goals from Troy Brouwer and Jori Lehtera. Brouwer drew first blood with the first St. Louis power-play of the period, scoring at 6:14. The Brouwer goal was followed by a Jori Lehtera goal at 10:11. Strong goaltending from Allen kept the Sharks off the score board in the first 20 minutes of play.
The Blues stayed hot going into the second period and by the end two more pucks would find their way behind the pads of Martin Jones. The third goal of the game came at 6:09 during a San Jose power-play, with Kyle Brodziak scoring shorthanded for the Blues. Brodziak would go on to score his 2nd goal of the night four minutes later taking the Blues up 4-0. After 40 minutes of play, the Sharks were still unable to score.
One minute into the third period, Joe Pavelski finally ended the drought for San Jose. Despite being down three goals, the Pavelski goal, assisted by Joe Thorton and Paul Martin, seemed to spark the San Jose offense a bit, leading to another Sharks goal by Tierney at 6:05. St. Louis continued to score in the third with another Brouwer power play goal, and then Alex Pietrangelo put away the 6th and final St. Louis goal at 15:39 into an empty net. The final goal of the contest came from San Jose. Karlsson scored the last minute goal at 16:28 from close rage to bring the final score to 6-3 in favor of the Blues.
The Western Conference Final is heating up and both the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks look to hoist their first Stanley Cup. At this point, it looks like the series could go either way. The difference will come down to the performances from the teamsâ€™ goaltenders. The Blues might be interested in keeping Allen between the pipes in place of Brian Elliot because of his performance in game 4. San Jose has yet to make a goalie move, but the six goals against in game 4 might invite management to think about it.
Game 5 goes back out to the Mid-West in St. Louis and it should yield another exciting match-up. The scoring has begun to flow for both teams and it seems as though this Western Conference Final is far from over.