The St. Louis Blues are frustrated, confused and on the brink of playoff elimination.
The Blues, who had the NHL's best regular-season record, trail 3-1 in their Western Conference first-round series with San Jose after a 3-2 loss to the Sharks on Wednesday night.
''It's not easy to come back from 3-1 all the time, but we did it last year and we hope to do it again,'' St. Louis' Pierre Turgeon said.
The Blues overcame a 3-1 deficit last season when they beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in a first-round series.
''Everybody expects when you finish first that it would be easy, but we knew otherwise,'' Turgeon said. ''We felt all along that they're a better team than they showed in the regular season.''
San Jose, 0-4-1 in five regular-season meetings with the Blues, is one win from duplicating its 1994 feat, when it ousted the Detroit Red Wings in a first-round series as a No. 8 seed.
''I think we have to be taken seriously now,'' San Jose's Tony Granato said.
In other NHL playoff games, Detroit swept its series against Los Angeles with a 3-0 victory; Ottawa edged Toronto 2-1; Washington beat Pittsburgh 3-2; and Phoenix defeated Colorado 3-2.
Gary Suter's slap shot from just inside the blue line skipped into the net with 8:37 remaining and proved to be the game-winner in San Jose.
''We got a good bounce, but what the heck?'' Granato said. ''It's still a goal.''
The best-of-7 series moves back to St. Louis on Friday for Game 5.
''We're getting the puck to the net, but we're not getting the bounce,'' Turgeon said. ''We need to take a page out of last year's book and hope to get some bounces.''
The winning shot was set up when Alexander Korolyuk threw the puck across the ice and it bounded off the boards to Suter, who wound up for a slap shot near the blue line. The puck took a bounce off the ice and shot between goalie Roman Turek's stick-side arm and his leg.
''It looked like a knuckleball. Boom, boom, it was in,'' St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville said.
Trailing 2-0 after goals by Marco Sturm and Mike Ricci, the Blues tied it by scoring twice in a 36-second span of the second period.
With the Blues on the power play, Turgeon got off a pass to Jochen Hecht, who wristed the puck past goalie Steve Shields at 12:54.
Just a few seconds later Jamal Mayers got off a shot that Shields stopped, but before he could cover up the rebound, Mike Eastwood skated in scored.
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