St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) and Blues center Jason Arnott (44) are congratulated by San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) and Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau (12) at the end of the game. Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Game 5: STL vs SJS - Blues Eliminate Sharks

St. Louis Blues players swarm goaltender Brian Elliott as they celebrate their round one victory at Scottrade Center. Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

The St. Louis Blues became the second team to advance to round to, joining their central division rivals the Nashville Predators. The Blues knocked out the Sharks in 5 games, winning their first series in ten years. Last night’s game was a big one for the fans in St Louis, but also a nerve-racking one.

Blues thrived all year off strong defense and superb goaltending but their offense hasn’t always been as reliable. They saw that last night as 50 minutes in they still couldn’t find an answer to Niemi. Sharks had the only goal at that point, Joe Thornton scoring on a scramble in front of Brian Elliott.

Down 1-0, the anxious crowd at Scottrade Center awaited a goal from their Blues. Sharks had collapsed into their zone for most of the third, trying to defend their lead.  Jamie Langenbrunner gave them something to cheer about. With just over 8 minutes remaining in the game the veteran tied it up. Blues weren’t done. Less than a minute later David Perron tipped a Pietrangelo shot past Niemi and all of a sunden the Blues were leading.

Sharks had to find a way to get back to thinking offensive and quick. They put pressure on but the Blues defense were resentless throwing their bodies down in front of every shot. And if it did get through, regular season save percentage leader Brian Elliott was there to stop it. Blues’ Andy McDonald gave the team some insurance with an empty netter in the final minute, ending the game 3-1. The Blues came back from a hard game one loss to win the series 4-1.

The San Jose Sharks who made it to the conference final the past two years, were officialy eliminated. They were the second team to be eliminated following the Detroit Red Wings.

Blues now have to wait to learn the round two opponent but should things hold in the Kings series (LA has a 3-1 lead) they will face Los Angeles in next round. LA plays this evening so the Blues organization will certainly be keeping and eye on that game.

Tags: Antti Niemi Blues Craig Anderson David Perron Joe Thornton San Jose Sharks Sharks St.Louis Blues Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012

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