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Series at a glance: St. Louis-San Jose playoff preview

Apr 8, 2012, 4:24 PM EDT

Schedule

All times are Eastern.

* – if necessary

Thursday April 12 in St. Louis @ 7:30 p.m. (CNBC, TSN)
Saturday April 14 in St. Louis @ 7:30 p.m. (CNBC, TSN)
Monday April 16 in San Jose @ 10 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, TSN)
Thursday April 19 in San Jose @ 10:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, TSN)
*Saturday April 21 in St. Louis @ 7:30 p.m. (CNBC, TSN)
*Monday April 23 in San Jose @ TBD (TBD)
*Wednesday April 25 in St. Louis @ TBD (TBD)

Three storylines to follow

1. How will the St. Louis Blues handle their goaltending situation? Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott have both been dominant this season and either one might end up being the team’s starter. Do they go with Halak, who has already proven himself in the playoffs, or Elliott, who just set the NHL’s modern-era GAA record? Or, do they try something entirely different and continue to alternate goaltenders in the playoffs?

2. San Jose’s triple threat. Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Patrick Marleau all finished the season with at least 30 goals. Throw in Joe Thornton‘s play-making abilities and Martin Havlat, who’s back after missing half the season with a hamstring injury, and the Sharks have two intimidating scoring lines. That being said…

3. Can San Jose overcome their regular-season struggles against St. Louis? The Blues have held the Sharks to just three goals over four games. St. Louis is also the only team that has a perfect 2011-12 record against its first-round opponent.

Records

St. Louis: 49-22-11, 109 points (1st in Central; 2nd in Western Conference) | San Jose: 43-29-10, 96 points (2nd in Pacific; 7th in Western Conference)

Leading scorers

St. Louis: David Backes (24G-30A-54PTS) | San Jose: Joe Thornton (18G-59A-77PTS)

Starting goalies

St. Louis: Jaroslav Halak (26-12-7, 1.97 GAA) | San Jose: Antti Niemi (34-22-9, 2.42 GAA)

Head-to-head

St. Louis won series 4-0
Oct. 15: St. Louis 4, at San Jose 2
Dec. 10: At St. Louis 1, San Jose 0
Feb. 12: At St. Louis 3, San Jose 0
March 3: St. Louis 3, at San Jose 1

Last 10 games

St. Louis: 4-3-3 | San Jose: 7-3-0

Playoff history

San Jose leads 2-1
2000: San Jose 4-3 (Western Conference quarterfinals)
2001: St. Louis 4-2 (Western Conference quarterfinals)
2004: San Jose 4-1 (Western Conference quarterfinals)

Stanley Cups

St. Louis: None | San Jose: None

Injuries

St. Louis: None

San Jose: Torrey Mitchell (upper body)

  1. pantherpro - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Sharks will win the cup!

  2. finswins - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Blues in 6. This is finally the year the Blues do remarkable things in the playoffs!

  3. rainyday56 - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    When was the last year the Blues, Halak, Eliot were in the playoffs?

  4. sharksman - Apr 9, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Blues have killed us all year. Hoping the trend stops now. lol
    It is gonna be a tough series hoping for the best.
    Remember when the sharks went into the playoffs #1 and killed the ducks all year them lost…..
    It can happen !
    Go Sharks !

  5. sir1389 - Apr 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Fun fact about Blues postseason history: They made the playoffs for 25 straight years from 1979-2004 which is currently the 3rd longest streak in NHL history. And despite going to the finals 3 times in a row from 1967-1970 (which was also their first 3 seasons in the league) they have never won a cup. I say this year has some redemption written all over it.

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