ST. LOUIS, Mo. - For the first time in generations, the St. Louis Blues have reached the Stanley Cup Final. The Blues finished off the San Jose Sharks Tuesday by a score of 5-1 to win the Western Conference Finals 4 games to 2.
With the Sharks skating wounded and down four players due to injuries, the Blues pounced early in the first period when Ryan O'Reilly and Sammy Blais attacked the net and David Perron was credited with a goal less than two minutes into action. With 3:44 left in the first, Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a power play.
San Jose got one back in the second when Dylan Gambrell scored 6:40 into the period, but the Blues once again took advantage of being on the Power Play when Brayden Schenn found the back of the net to make it 3-1. A Tyler Bozak goal with just about seven minutes left put the game out of reach. Ivan Barbashev found an empty San Jose net to make it 5-1.
As the final horn sounded, Laura Branigan's 1982 hit "Gloria" began to play as and cheers rained down on the players.
The injury bug bit the Sharks hard, as the team announced they'd play Game 6 without injured forwards Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl and defenseman Erik Karlsson.
St. Louis will meet the Boston Bruins in the final, the same team that defeated the Blues nearly 50 years ago in the franchise's last Stanley Cup appearance (1970). The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup, while the Bruins have won hockey's top prize six times.
The last time the Blues were in the Stanley Cup Final, a gallon of regular gas cost 36 cents on average and a gallon of milk was $1.15.
Former Blues Captain David Backes will be looking for his first Cup, only now as a member of the Bruins. Former Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak is now the backup in Boston, and St. Louis native Trent Frederic, who made his NHL debut this season before being sent back to the minors, was expected to help keep the parent club fresh as the Bruins await their opponent.
Game 1 is Monday night in Boston. Games 3, 4, and 6 (if necessary) will be played in St. Louis.
STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
Monday, May 27, 7 p.m.: Blues @ Bruins
Wednesday, May 29, 7 p.m.: Blues @ Bruins
Saturday, June 1, 7 p.m.: Bruins @ Blues
Monday, June 3, 7 p.m.: Bruins @ Blues
*Thursday, June 6, 7 p.m.: Blues @ Bruins
*Sunday, June 9, 7 p.m.: Bruins @ Blues
*Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m.: Blues @ Bruins