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Western Conference Finals Game 3 Preview: Sharks vs. Blues

Game 3

Series: Tied 1-1

Location: Enterprise Center

Time: 8 PM ET. (NBCSN)

RECAP:

St. Louis tied the series in Game 2 after they defeated the Sharks 4-2. Jordan Binnington stopped 24 goals on 26 shots as he rebounded from Game 1. The offense came alive as Jaden Schwartz, Vince Dunn, Robert Bortuzzo and Oskar Sundqvist all scored for the Blues. Logan Couture scored two goals in a three minutes span for the Sharks, including a short-handed goal. Despite this the Blues were able to tie the series heading home for Games 3 and 4.

Preview:

Martin Jones will need to be better behind the goal for the Sharks if they are to win Game 3. So far in the playoffs, Jones is allowing 2.83 goals per game and has a save percentage of .920. But in the two games against the Sharks, he has a save percentage of .870. He will have to step his game up and if the Sharks want to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in franchise history.

Coach Pete DeBoer had this to say about his teams performance in Game 2.

“Our intentions were good in Game 2. I thought it was probably one of the better Game 2s we’ve played in the playoffs so far,” DeBoer said. “You have to give (the Blues) credit. I thought they played a good game, got some saves at the right time and some timely goals. But we didn’t get it done. Now we’ve got to come in here and find a way to win a game.”

The Sharks were seen using different lineups for morning skate Wednesday. San Jose is trying to find ways to get more scoring from their third and fourth lines. But it hasn’t just been the third and fourth line that has been stagnant. Logan Couture and Timo Meier have six of the teams eight goals so far in this series. The rest of the offense, not just the third and fourth line will need to show up. Key member, Evander Kane will need to step up. The left winger only has one assist so far this series and scored a goal since game two against Colorado.

Game 3
Image courtesy of CBC.ca.

The Blues were able to overcome their loss in Game 1 by making a statement in Game 2. St. Louis exposed Martin Jones in game two and won in convincing fashion. The Blues offense has been the exact opposite of the Sharks in this series. Instead of the majority of the scoring being provided by two players. St. Louis has had seven different players score in this series. No one on the Blues has scored more than once, instead, it has been scoring by committee.

Jordan Binnington will need to repeat his game two performance if the Blues are to win game three. The Key for Binnington will be to stop Timo Meier and Logan Couture. This will go a long way to limiting the Sharks offense.

The Blues power play will also need to produce as they are currently 1-26 in their past eight games.

Prediction: Martin Jones bounces back and limits the Blues offense. The Sharks get scoring from someone not named Logan Couture or Timo Meier. Sharks win 5-2.

Feature Image From Yahoo! Sports.

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