Timo Meier scored a pair of second-period goals while Logan Couture also tallied twice and enjoyed a three-point game as the host San Jose Sharks doubled the St. Louis Blues 6-3 in the opening tilt of the Western Conference final.
Martin Jones made 28 saves, and Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won all three series openers this year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven affair will be Monday in San Jose.
Just past the midway point, and less than two minutes after Ryan O'Reilly scored for the Blues to make it a 3-2 game, Meier collected the first of his two straight tallies with a highlight-reel marker. Couture forced a turnover that resulted in Meier getting the puck with momentum, and he fought off the check for a partial breakaway and completed a great deke.
Meier's second of the game, and fifth of the playoffs, with 2:36 remaining in the second period wasn't as pretty but made it a 5-2 game. Meier was at the end boards and sent the puck to the front of the net, where it banked home off the skate of Blues defenseman Vince Dunn.
Tyler Bozak scored for the Blues with seven minutes remaining in regulation to give the visitors life, but Couture rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal.
Couture also opened the scoring, burying a one-timer on an odd-man rush created by Meier 3:31 into the clash, before Joel Edmundson pulled the Blues even near the midway point of the first period. However, Pavelski put the hosts ahead for good with a power-play goal at 11:24 of the opening frame when he batted a rebound out of the air.
After Kevin Labanc took advantage of an egregious St. Louis turnover just outside the blue line to make it a 3-1 game at 7:41 of the middle frame, O'Reilly again pulled the Blues within a goal 77 seconds later.
Jordan Binnington made 19 saves for St. Louis.
--Field Level Media