St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (19) and goalie Brian Elliott (1) celebrate after Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals against the San Jose Sharks, Sunday, May 15, 2016, in St. Louis. The Blues won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jeff
Jeff Roberson
May 15, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) Brian Elliott had another standout game in net, David Backes and Jori Lehtera had goals and the St. Louis Blues opened their first Western Conference final in 15 years with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

Tomas Hertl scored on a first-period deflection for the Sharks, who outshot St. Louis 32-23 but couldn't quite solve Elliott.

The Sharks were the best road team in the NHL in the regular season at 28-10-3, but have dropped four in a row on the road in these playoffs, including all three in the second round against Nashville. They had seven goals in three road losses to the Predators and were 0 for 3 on the power play, which had been a major plus. San Jose had been converting on 33 percent of its power plays in the postseason.

Game 2 is on Tuesday night.


This story has been corrected to show that Sharks were 0 for 3 on power play instead of 0 for 5.

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