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Sharks upend Blues to take Game 1

Logan Couture celebrates after scoring a goal against the St. Louis Blues in the first period.JOSIE LEPE/ASSOCIATED PRESS/FR171606 AP via AP

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Timo Meier scored twice and set up one of Logan Couture’s two goals with a hard hit, sending the San Jose Sharks to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Saturday night.

Meier’s hit on Alex Pietrangelo led to Couture’s goal that opened the scoring in the first period and he then scored twice in the second to give the Sharks a comfortable lead and their third straight Game 1 win this postseason.

Couture added an empty-net goal to give him an NHL-leading 11 in the postseason. Joe Pavelski and Kevin Labanc also scored for San Jose and Martin Jones made 28 saves.


Game 2 is Monday night at the Shark Tank.

Joel Edmundson, Ryan O'Reilly, and Tyler Bozak scored for the Blues, but the team gave little help to Jordan Binnington. The rookie goalie made 19 saves but was left exposed by his defense on numerous occasions.

The teams traded goals midway through the second period with Labanc converting after a turnover by Edmundson and O'Reilly answering 1:17 later with a nifty move to get around Jones and tuck a rebound into the open net.

Meier then took over with his two goals in the second half of the period that gave the Sharks breathing room. His first came after Couture poke-checked Colton Parayko coming out of the zone. Meier got the puck, deked past Jay Bouwmeester, and then used his quick hands to get a backhand past Binnington.

Meier then got his first two-goal game in the postseason late in the period when his centering pass from behind the goal line deflected off Vince Dunn’s skate and into the net to make it 5-2.

Bozak scored with 6:59 left in the third for the Blues, but they couldn’t get any closer despite pulling Binnington with more than four minutes remaining. Couture then sealed it with an empty-netter.