Ken Hitchcock made the interesting decision to start Jake Allen in Game 4 versus the San Jose Sharks. Goaltending, however, wasn’t the biggest issue facing the St. Louis Blues as they looked to get back into the Western Conference Final.
Scoring was a problem. A big one. The Blues had been shut out in two consecutive games prior to Saturday, as their scoring drought reached beyond 150 minutes. Another loss, and the Blues would return to St. Louis facing elimination.
Instead, they awoke offensively versus the Sharks, tying the best-of-seven series at 2-2 after a 6-3 road victory at SAP Center. Tempers flared in the final minutes, with a fight between Brenden Dillon and Carl Gunnarsson after a scrum broke out prior to a faceoff.
Allen made 31 saves for the win in his first start of the playoffs.
The Sharks finally got on the board in the third period, cutting the Blues lead to three goals on three different occasions, but that was as close as they’d get.
As per NHL.com’s Time on Ice report, Blues’ captain David Backes didn’t play a single shift after the 14:46 mark of the first period. Replays showed he was involved in an awkward collision with a San Jose player along the boards.