The St. Louis Blues are headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970 after their 5-1 Game 6 win over the San Jose Sharks.
Jordan Binnington came up big with 25 saves to help St. Louis clinch a 4-2 series victory in the Western Conference Final. Vladimir Tarasenko notched his eighth goal of the playoffs, while Ryan O'Reilly had three assists in Tuesday's win at Enterprise Center.
Both the Sharks and Blues needed seven games to survive the second round of the playoffs, but the Blues avoided the drama this time around and are now one step closer to winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
San Jose came into Game 6 with a difficult task of keeping alive its season on the road. The challenge was made even tougher when it was announced Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson and Joe Pavelski would all miss the game with injuries, per Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News.
The squad remained aggressive throughout the game, outshooting the Blues 26-18 while getting plenty of opportunities at the net throughout.
However, Binnington was just too difficult to beat with huge stops throughout the night:
The Blues offense also more than did its job by taking advantage of every opening it could find.
They needed only one minute and 32 seconds to get on to the scoreboard. Sammy Blais was initially credited for the opening goal, but it deflected off David Perron into the net:
This type of quick score has become a theme of the playoffs for St. Louis:
It was then the power play that made the difference in the game, as the Blues were able to score on each of their two opportunities in the first two periods.
Tarasenko made it 2-0 with an impressive shot into the top-left corner, while Brayden Schenn put the team up 3-1 in the second with his power-play score:
San Jose remained aggressive in the third period, but goals by Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev (on an empty net) made it a no-doubter for the home team.
The squad showed up in the first period and never relented in an impressive offensive showing:
St. Louis had seemed cursed in the playoffs for a long time, failing to make deep runs despite boasting a lot of talent throughout the years. This year's squad only had 99 points during the regular season, but the team has turned it on in the postseason.
With Binnington dominating in net and goals coming from a variety of sources, there is certainly an opportunity to win one more series and raise the Stanley Cup.
The Blues move on to the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, with Game 1 set for Monday at 8 p.m. ET in Boston.