Local Sports

Blues Look To Go Up 2-0 Tonight

The San Jose Sharks got just three power plays in their Game 1 loss to open the Western Conference finals, and no call when Joe Thornton's bushy beard got tugged on by St. Louis Blues captain David Backes in the first period.


The Blues were the ninth-most penalized team in the regular season and they've got the second-most minutes in the postseason, although they've played more games than anybody.


''Well, we were told not to whine for calls, so we're not going to whine for calls,'' Hitchcock said.


Five minor penalties were called, three on the Blues, and there were none in the second period when the Sharks were at their best, ringing up a 16-6 shots advantage but coming up empty and falling behind for good on Jori Lehtera's unassisted goal.


Blues players spent little time celebrating their hard-earned 2-1 victory, showing up to the rink to dissect areas in need of improvement before sitting down with Hitchcock.


Both teams seemed to sense they might be in for a long haul, perhaps a seven-game marathon.


The Blues have twice gone the distance, putting them in the conference final for the first time since 2001. The Sharks dispatched the Kings in five games in the first round but needed seven to eliminate the Predators and earn a first trip to the conference final in five years.


Entering Game 2, the Sharks trail in a series for the first time this postseason.

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