Nothing has come easy for the San Jose Sharks this season. Not even when they build a three-goal lead for the first time all season.
None of that matters, though, when they’re able to come away with a win.
Rudolfs Balcers scored a go-ahead goal at the 11:51 mark of the third period, redirecting a Logan Couture shot past goalie Jordan Binnington, as the Sharks earned a wild 5-4 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at Enterprise Center.
Balcers also scored early in the second period, and Couture and Evander Kane each had a goal and assist as the Sharks bounced back from a tough second period to pick up their third win in regulation time this season.
The Blues scored four times in the second period, including three goals in a 10 minute and 4 second span, as the Sharks coughed up two separate three-goal leads.
After Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks a 4-1 lead at the 8:18 mark of the second period, scoring his first of the season and the 563rd of his 23-year NHL career, the Blues answered with even strength goals by Zach Sanford, Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou, with Kyrou’s goal coming at the 18:41 mark.
Devan Dubnyk, making his first start since Feb. 6, stopped 20 of 24 shots though 40 minutes. It was the second time this season he had been in net for a four-goal Blues outburst in a second period, as it also happened Jan. 18 when Dubnyk made his first Sharks start.
The Sharks took a 2-0 lead in the first period as their top line came through with a pair of even strength goals after Blues miscues.
Kane scored after a Blues turnover for his fifth of the season at the 7:24 mark. A Zach Sanford pass went off Kevin Labanc’s skate and right to Kane, who fired it through Binnington’s pads. Just 2:46 later, Kane’s forecheck forced Binnington to make a bad pass from behind his own net. The puck came right to Labanc, who fed Couture in front for a 2-0 Sharks lead.
The Blues came into the game with just 11 available forwards after Sammy Blais landed on the NHL’s COVID-19 list Saturday. Blais played Thursday against the Sharks and practiced Friday. Being on the COVID list could mean a number of things, including an initial positive test, isolation for symptomatic individuals or a required quarantine for a high-risk close contact.
The Blues also had several injured players, including forwards Jaden Schwartz (lower body), Ivan Barbashev (ankle), Robert Thomas (thumb) and Tyler Bozak (upper), and defenseman Colton Parayko (undisclosed),
While the timeline for the return of Schwartz and Parayko is unclear, Barbashev is expected to miss at least six weeks. The Sharks and Blues play each other on Feb. 27 and March 8 in San Jose.
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports
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