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Blues hold off Sharks, take series lead
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Andy McDonald posted a goal and two assists as St. Louis grabbed the lead in this Western Conference quarterfinal series with a 4-3 win over San Jose in Game 3.
Brian Elliott, who combined with Jaroslav Halak in a shutout in Game 2, got the start on Monday as Halak was ruled out due to a lower-body injury he suffered from a collision with teammate Barret Jackman in Game 2. Elliott made 26 stops on Monday for the win.
Alexander Steen, Patrik Berglund and Jason Arnott each posted a goal and an assist for the Blues, who have won the past two games in the series to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven affair.
Colin White and Logan Couture scored late to get the game within one, but it was not enough as the Sharks will look to even things up on Thursday in Game 4 in San Jose. Antti Niemi gave up all four goals on 27 shots in the loss.
The Sharks seemed to be down for the count after Steen scored a power play goal on a slap shot from the left circle just 59 seconds into the third to make it a 4-1 game.
"I know we're up 2-1 but I know we can play a lot better," said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock. "I know we have individuals who that play a lot better, and we will. But I like the fact that we came out in a tough building and played the way we did and got a 4-1 lead. That's a good sign."
San Jose, though, got one back with 3:02 to play when White scored his first goal of the playoffs and Couture made it a one-goal game with a one-timer in front off a feed from behind the net by Joe Thronton.
The last goal, though, came with 18.5 seconds to play and San Jose wasn't able to make a serious effort in the offensive zone before time expired.
"Yeah, we weathered the storm there for a bit," Blues center Scott Nicoll said. "And then we just kind of did what we're been doing all year, we just grind games down."
St. Louis went 3-for-4 on the power play in the game and got it started at the 14:31 mark of the first period. A slap shot from Carlo Colaiacovo at the right point went off the right post, but Berglund was there to sweep in the rebound.
"We've got to stay out of the penalty box. That was it," Thronton said. "Don't take the unnecessary penalty, that's the bottom line."
The Sharks tied the game just over two minutes later with a power play goal of their own after Thornton lifted the puck into the air from the neutral zone and it fell near the right circle, where Brent Burns picked it up and cut to the front beofre slipping in a backhand.
The Blues, though, took the lead for good 61 seconds into the second when a shot at the right point by Colaiacovo was tipped by Berglund to the left and McDonald slammed it in.
St. Louis scored its second power play goal halfway through the second when Steen sent a pass from the right point to the low right side and from there McDonald swept it over to the left and Arnott shot it home.
San Jose went 1-for-4 on the power play...Colaiacovo and Thornton each had three assists in the game...Couture also had an assist in the game...St. Louis is 5-for-13 on the power play in the series.
04/17 02:55:53 ET
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