Game 1: Sunday, May 15, Sharks @ Blues, 5 p.m.
Game 2: Tuesday, May 17, Sharks @ Blues, 5 p.m.
Game 3: Thursday, May 19, Blues @ Sharks, 6 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday, May 21, Blues @ Sharks, 4:15 p.m.
*Game 5: Monday, May 23, Sharks @ Blues, 5 p.m.
*Game 6: Tuesday, May 25, Blues @ Sharks, 6 p.m.
*Game 7: Thursday, May 27, Sharks @ Blues, 5 p.m.
Second round recap
Sharks: After downing the Kings in five games in the first round, San Jose went the full seven games with the Predators in the second round, with the home team winning all seven. San Jose capped off the series with a dominating 5-0 win on Thursday to advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2011. Logan Couture leads the Sharks and the NHL with 17 points, while Joe Pavelski’s nine goals paces San Jose.
Blues: St. Louis has played seven games in each of the first two rounds, getting past Chicago in the first round and Dallas in the second. Like the Sharks, St. Louis is coming off of a lopsided Game 7 win, beating the Stars on Wednesday in Dallas, 6-1. Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues in goals (7) and is tied with Robby Fabbri in points (13), as the Blues have gotten at least one goal from 15 different players.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Logan Couture. No one on the Sharks had a better second round series than Couture, who tallied 11 points (6g, 5a) in setting a new franchise record for points in a series. Couture is just one point behind Igor Larionov’s franchise record of 18 points in a single playoffs, set in 1994, and brings a four-game point streak into Game 1. San Jose was 32-15-5 with Couture in the lineup in the regular season.
Blues: Alexander Steen. The 32-year-old center will likely start Game 1 in the middle of the third line with Patrik Berglund and David Backes. That could provide the Blues with a distinct advantage against the Sharks’ third line, especially with Patrick Marleau still on the second line. Steen has 17 points (3g, 14a) in 20 career regular season games against the Sharks. He has eight points in the playoffs (4g, 4a).
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Melker Karlsson – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Dainius Zubrus – Nick Spaling – Tommy Wingels
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Roman Polak
Martin Jones (starter)
Jaden Schwartz – Jori Lehtera – Vladimir Tarasenko
Robby Fabbri – Paul Stastny – Troy Brouwer
Patrik Berglund – Alexander Steen – David Backes
Scottie Upshall – Kyle Brodziak – Steve Ott
Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson – Kevin Shattenkirk
Carl Gunnarsson – Colton Parayko
Brian Elliott (starter)
Goals per game: 3.42
Goals-against per game: 2.33
Power play: 30.9 percent
Penalty kill: 82.3 percent
Goals per game: 3.14
Goals-against per game: 2.43
Power play: 27.5 percent
Penalty kill: 79.5 percent
Sharks: Matt Nieto (undisclosed) is out.
Sharks playoff record when…
The Sharks have a series record of 12-6 when winning the first game, and are 4-11 when losing Game 1.
They are 18-15 in all-time in Game 1’s, including 9-8 on the road.
Odds and ends
*Marc-Edouard Vlasic has a five-game point streak, with six assists over that span.
*The Sharks have a 3-12 record all-time in conference finals games.
*St. Louis is 3-3 all-time in the conference finals, but has not reached the final round since 1970 and has never won a Stanley Cup.
*Brent Burns leads all NHL defensemen with 15 points, and leads the NHL with 11 points and six multi-point games.
*Captains Joe Pavelski and David Backes each have three game-winning goals in the playoffs, leading the league.
“When you write down the two teams on paper, both are deep, both teams are capable of running four lines and six D out there. I think it’s whoever can take advantage of the other team’s guys across from them. … When we’re on our game, our depth guys have been better than the other team’s depth guys. That’s the big challenge for both teams here.” – Pete DeBoer