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story.lead_photo.caption St. Louis Blues' Jay Bouwmeester (19), David Perron (57) and Tyler Bozak (21) celebrate after Bozak’s goal in the third period of the Blues’ victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of their NHL playoff series Tuesday night.

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues are marching into the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in decades.

David Perron had a goal and an assist, Jordan Binnington picked up his franchise-record 12th playoff victory, and the Blues eliminated the San Jose Sharks with a 5-1 victory in Game 6 of the NHL Western Conference finals Tuesday night.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn and Tyler Bozak also scored for St. Louis, which will face the Boston Bruins for the championship. Ivan Barbashev got an empty-netter with 2:15 left, Ryan O'Reilly had three assists and Binnington stopped 25 shots.

"We always believed we could do this," said Tarasenko, who had a point in every game of the series. "But it's still an unbelievable feeling."

St. Louis won three consecutive games to advance to the franchise's first Cup Final since 1970. That series also pitted the Blues against the Bruins.

Game 1 is Monday night in Boston.

Laura Branigan's Gloria blared over the speakers at the Blues' home arena after the latest victory on an improbable run from last in the NHL on Jan. 3 to one of the last two teams standing. The turnaround came after Craig Berube replaced Mike Yeo as coach in November, and Binnington took over as the starting goaltender in January.

"We always had the talent," said Doug Armstrong, the general manager and president of hockey operations for the Blues. "But we were finding ways to lose games instead of winning them. They turned it around and just haven't stopped going."

Berube gave his team credit for working its way through a coaching change and several months of disappointing play.

"We were trying to get on the right track," Berube said. "Once we got going in January and February, I knew we had a good hockey team. Once you get into the playoffs anything can happen -- and it did."

San Jose played without injured forwards Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl and defenseman Erik Karlsson. Injury attrition played a role for the Sharks, who played seven games in each of the first two rounds.

Dylan Gambrell scored his first career goal for San Jose, which lost for the first time in five elimination games this postseason. Martin Jones made 14 stops.

St. Louis grabbed control with a fast start.

Perron tipped in Sammy Blais' shot just 92 seconds into the game. Tarasenko made it 2-0 with a well-placed wrist shot at 16:16.

Tarasenko got his eighth goal of the postseason just seven seconds after San Jose forward Barclay Goodrow was sent off for tripping.

Gambrell converted a breakaway along the right wing 6:40 into the second period. Joonas Donskoi set up the play with a long stretch pass.

At a glance



St. Louis 5, San Jose 1

St. Louis wins series 4-2.


MONDAY’S GAME All times Central

St. Louis at Boston, 7 p.m.

First game of series

Sports on 05/22/2019

Print Headline: Blues earn first Cup shot since 1970


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