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NHL playoff scores 2016: Blues fall back into old habits as they sit on the brink of elimination

St. Louis has been outplayed for most of this series, and it might cost them in the Western Conference Final.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It's almost poetic that the conference finals are starting to mirror each other practically beat for beat. We've had controversial goaltending changes, spent time blaming the star players for lack of production, and with big wins in respective Games 5, the lower seeds now have the chance to make the Stanley Cup Final on home ice.

Much like the Penguins, the Blues are now facing elimination thanks to a combination of questionable changes in goal and the -- pretty false -- narrative that their star players have up and disappeared from the face of the Earth. Not only that, St. Louis has fallen back into their bad habits from earlier in the series that should have had them down 3-0 coming into Game 4 instead of 2-1.

Though the Blues gave the Sharks only three power plays, the lethal San Jose special teams potted two goals on them in no time at all. St. Louis' possession numbers flattened out, and Jake Allen was unable to pick up the slack like he was in Game 4. While Allen served his purpose in net in relief in Game 3 and jolted the Blues awake in their next, it's clearly time to go back to elimination game pro Brian Elliott for Wednesday's match.

A much harder nut to crack is what's happened to Vladimir Tarasenko, who has yet to register a point in this series thus far. Tarasenko will likely get the Sidney Crosby treatment over the next few days, but the Blues' problems are bigger than one of their most visible players. Though the young forward looked extremely unsure of himself when given opportunities, the Blues were still unable to beat an equally shaky Martin Jones in net for more than three goals on Monday.

Change has worked for the Blues once before in this series, and if they want to climb back into it again they'll have to adjust themselves accordingly.

Scores

Sharks 6, Blues 3

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3 things we learned

1. Troy Brouwer can hit cleanup for the Cardinals

If the Blues strike out in the Western Conference Final, Brouwer may have found his second calling: baseball.

2. Martin Jones had some difficulty in net

After putting up some stellar performances in net earlier this series, Jones has had a bit of a stumble. Much like the Brouwer goal above, the Sharks netminder was out of position on two of the three goals scored against him in Game 5. It didn't cost them in this game, but unlike the Blues the Sharks they do not have the luxury of a 1A-1B netminder system should Jones not correct his positioning issues.

3. Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton are gods among men

There's a reason the Sharks have been so successful on the power play, and it's all thanks to their two Joes. Seriously, this is quite unfair.

Impact Moment

Pavelski not only had the game-tying goal, but he also had the game winner 16 seconds into the third period.

Tweets from Tony

Remember Tony, AKA @soloucity on Twitter, who fell in love with hockey during the Blues/Blackhawks Game 7? We're dedicating a section in our recaps to the gems of his Twitter account during the playoffs.

We're one game away from losing Tony's team. Help us Elliott, you're our only hope.

Stat of the Night