When San Jose’s Joonas Donskoi delivered what looked to be the final dagger on the St. Louis Blues season at 8:11 in the third period, fans can be forgiven for calling it a night just after 10 p.m.
The score was 4-0 and the Sharks were poised to run away with Game 6 to clinch their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
The Blues never quit. We’ve seen that all season and for Vladimir Tarasenko, after being held without a goal all series, he wasn’t going down without a fight.
Tarasenko took a pass in the left circle from Jori Lehtera and beat Sharks goalie Martin Jones who was down in the crease at 11:39 to make it 4-1. San Jose had stepped a bit off the pedal and the Blues star wasted little time getting it back to a three-goal game. It was his eighth goal of the playoffs but first since Game 7 against Dallas.
Watch his first goal
Tarasenko scored again with 3:35 left after Brian Elliott was pulled for an extra attacker. Tarasenko tucked a shot past Martin Jones on a sharp angle as he attacked the net.
Watch his second goal
Moments later, Tarasenko came in tight to the right of Jones again and instead of jamming the puck started around the back of the net. He tried to surprise Jones by dropping the puck behind him, but Jones never left his post. Tarasenko came around to the far circle and one-timed a pass that Jones slid over and deflected. Tarasenko nearly completed a hat-trick and nearly had this at a one-goal with well over two minutes to play.
With the extra skater, the Blues kept pressure on Jones and the Sharks, but they finally cleared the zone and Logan Couture scored into an empty net with 19.7 seconds left, finishing off the Blues in a 5-2 final.