Jaden Schwartz recorded a hat trick and goalie Jordan Binnington made 21 saves for his first career playoff shutout as the visiting St. Louis Blues moved within one win of the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970 thanks to a 5-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, will look to close out the Western Conference final Tuesday at home when they host Game 6. The winner of the series will face the Boston Bruins.
St. Louis made the Cup final in each of its first three seasons but hasn't returned since.
The Blues pulled ahead Sunday with their most dominating performance of the playoffs. They have won seven of nine road clashes this spring.
The Sharks not only lost the game, but suffered through a war of attrition in what may be their final home game of the season. Defenseman Erik Karlsson and forward Tomas Hertl didn't play in the third period, while captain Joe Pavelski left early in the final frame after taking a hard check.
Karlsson, who appeared to aggravate a groin injury that limited him during the season, looked nothing like himself on the game's first goal. His poor giveaway resulted in Oskar Sundqvist's game-opening goal before the six-minute mark.
From there, it went to downright ugly for the hosts as the Blues took complete control.
Schwartz doubled the lead at 3:05 of the second period when he buried a loose puck, and then Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a penalty shot at 6:53 into the stanza to make it a three-goal margin.
Schwartz twice scored in the third period, once on a five-on-three power play a couple of minutes into the period, and then with 3:58 remaining thanks to a cross-ice feed from Tarasenko -- who has collected at least one point in every game this series.
Schwartz has scored 12 goals in the playoffs, one more than he netted during a disappointing regular season.
Sharks goalie Martin Jones stopped 35 shots in the loss.
In their quest to "send a message," the Sharks took a steady stream of penalties, which involved both Micheal Haley and Evander Kane being sent to the showers early.
--Field Level Media