Three Stars: Brodziak a catalyst for Blues in Game 4
The St. Louis Blues needed an offensive spark, and they found a few of them in Game 4. The Blues exploded for six goals and held off the San Jose Sharks’ third-period rally to even the Western Conference finals at two at games apiece.
Here's who stood out to us on Saturday:
Kyle Brodziak, St. Louis Blues
On a night when the Blues were desperate for offense, an unlikely hero answered the call. Fourth-liner Brodziak led St. Louis to victory with the first postseason short-handed goal, the first game-winning goal and the first multi-goal game of his career. He also stepped up his minutes, soaking up shifts in place of the possibly injured David Backes.
Troy Brouwer, St. Louis Blues
Boy, did he need this one. Brouwer has been the most consistently dangerous attacker for the Blues this series, but his numerous chances were denied by goal posts and bad bounces.
He shook off the bad mojo early in Game 4, beating goalie Martin Jones with a blistering one-timer from the circle that staked St. Louis to a 1-0 lead and ended his team's 153:57 goal drought in the process. He scored his second of the night early in the third, shortly after Sharks forward Joe Pavelski had cut the lead to 4-1. If San Jose harbored any hopes of staging a dramatic third-period comeback, that goal put a quick end to them.
Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues
Giving him the start was an act of desperation by coach Ken Hitchcock, but Allen justified the decision by stopping 31 of 34 shots and keeping the Sharks off the board until the result was no longer in doubt. He was tested early and often, making a number of big saves in the process, none better than the Reed Richards-esque stretch that allowed him to get a toe on a Joe Thornton re-direct from the top of the crease in the second period.