Blues blast Sharks 7-2 for third straight win
ST. LOUIS (AP) — T.J. Oshie hasn’t seen anything like this before in his seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues.
Oshie and the Blues continued their blistering scoring binge against the visiting San Jose Sharks with seven players scoring goals in a 7-2 win on Thursday night.
“Not since I’ve been here, no, I haven’t,” Oshie said of the offensive outburst. “But without scoring the goals, if a couple of those go off the post and out, we’re still playing great hockey, we’re still getting pucks deep, we’re still working for each other. We’ll take the goals, but I think that’s what we’ll take out of these games.”
Oshie, Alexander Steen, Jay Bouwmeester, Paul Stastny, Jori Lehtera, Patrik Berglund and David Backes all scored for the Blues (25-13-3), who have 20 goals during a three-game win streak.
“Really unselfish hockey is what is evident to me right now in a lot of things we’re doing,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “When you are unselfish, you come off the ice at the right time, you change at the right time, you leave your teammate in a good spot, you’re going to have success. To me, the goals are a result of the way we’re playing. We’re playing the right way and it’s having a big impact on keeping the group together.”
Jaden Schwartz added three assists. Brian Elliott made 24 saves.
“We’re all playing good hockey, from the goalie to the defense to the forwards,” Schwartz said. “Everybody’s doing their job. Tonight you saw they were pretty tired on the back end by the end of the game and that’s what we wanted to do from the start.”
The Blues beat the Sharks 7-2 on Saturday in San Jose and then defeated the Coyotes 6-0 on Tuesday in Arizona. St. Louis now has at least six goals in three consecutive games for the first time since December 2000.
Thursday’s game was the start of a seven-game homestand for St. Louis, which had played 16 of its previous 23 games on the road. The Blues improved to 14-4-1 at home.
The Sharks (22-15-5), who rebounded from the loss to the Blues with road wins against the Jets on Monday and the Wild on Tuesday, got goals from Logan Couture and Melker Karlsson.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen a team play two games against us,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “They had the puck the whole night, they protected it, they roamed around and if you just looked at the shot totals you would say San Jose was in the game. We weren’t. . Right now, I don’t know what else is going on around the league, but it would be hard to find a team better than that.”
St. Louis struck first with a power-play goal from Steen, his 11th of the season and third in four games, and then a goal from Bouwmeester.
San Jose answered with a short-handed goal from Couture, his 15th, with 1:33 remaining in the first period after Joe Pavelski took a double-minor for high-sticking.
Stastny helped the Blues capitalize on the Pavelski penalty with a power-play goal, his ninth of the season, assisted by Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk with 54 seconds left in the period.
The Sharks scored just 29 seconds into the second period with a wrister from Karlsson, his fourth in four games, to make it 3-2.
The Blues scored four straight goals from that point, with two in the second period and two more in the third.
Lehtera scored his ninth of the season in the second, followed by Oshie’s 11th on a rebound of Alexander Steen’s shot to chase San Jose goalie Antti Niemi from the game.
Berglund made it 6-2 with a wraparound goal with 10:55 left in the third period. Then Backes, who had four goals in the win in Arizona, scored his 14th of the season with 8:01 left.
“You can sit here and make every single excuse in the book, but to lose 7-2 is unacceptable with this team that we have,” Couture said. “We just got beat plain and simple, again, by that team. We’re better than what we’ve shown. To go out and play that team two games and get spanked like that. We haven’t been good in front of our goalies against these guys.”
NOTES: San Jose C Joe Thornton missed his fourth consecutive game with a shoulder injury. He had played 319 straight games before suffering the injury on Dec. 31. . The Blues’ attendance of 19,220 was their sixth sellout of the season. . The Backes-Steen-Oshie line has now accounted for 35 points in the Blues’ past seven games. . The Blues entered Thursday’s game leading the NHL in power-play percentage (25.7 percent). St. Louis has scored seven power-play goals during its three-game win streak and eight over the last four games.