David Perron collected one goal and one assist, and Ryan O'Reilly posted three assists as the St. Louis Blues punched their ticket into the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970 thanks to a 5-1 home-ice victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
The Blues won the best-of-seven Western Conference finals in six games, capturing each of the last three contests.
St. Louis, which was last in the NHL standings before the games of Jan. 3, will face the Boston Bruins in the battle for the Stanley Cup beginning on May 27. Coincidentally, the Blues met the Bruins the last time they reached the Cup final, a series memorialized by Bobby Orr's winning overtime goal after which he went flying through the air while celebrating.
The Blues got past a San Jose team that was forced to play the clinching clash without a trio of key players. Forwards Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl were on the receiving end of hard, high hits that forced them out of Game 5 early, while defenseman Erik Karlsson was sidelined due to an apparent groin injury.
The hosts took advantage of the situation early when Perron opened the scoring just 92 seconds into the clash when he deflected a Sammy Blais shot.
Then Vladimir Tarasenko doubled the lead with a power-play goal with 3:44 remaining in the opening frame. After O'Reilly won a faceoff in San Jose territory, Tarasenko ripped a wrist shot from the left dot that went off the shoulder of Sharks goalie Martin Jones for his eighth goal of the playoffs -- and fifth while on the power play.
Tarasenko collected at least one point in all six games of the series.
Dylan Gambrell -- who drew into the San Jose lineup due to the injuries -- scored his first NHL goal at the 6:40 mark of the second period to put the Sharks on the board and give them life.
However, St. Louis' Brayden Schenn quashed those hopes six minutes later when he buried a rebound for the power-play goal that snapped his goal drought at 13 games. Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev iced the game with third-period goals.
From there, Blues goalie Jordan Binnington sealed the deal with his 25-save performance. Jones stopped 14 shots for the Sharks.
--Field Level Media