The St. Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup playoff series in 10 years when they eliminated the San Jose Sharks with a 3-1 victory in Game Five of the first round of their Western Conference playoffs on Saturday.

Jamie Langenbrunner and David Perron scored 45 seconds apart in the third period and Andy McDonald added an empty-netter with 38.2 seconds to play as the Blues joined the Nashville Predators in the second round of the playoffs. Nashville beat Detroit in their series on Friday.

Brian Elliott made 26 saves, giving up a late second period goal to Joe Thornton.

In the Eastern Conference, the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators moved within one game of clinching their opening round series.

The Capitals used Troy Brouwer's goal with 87 seconds left to put the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on the brink of playoff elimination with a 4-3 win in Boston to grab a 3-2 series lead.

The seventh-seeded Capitals, who only earned a playoff berth in their penultimate game of the regular season, can close out the best-of-seven first-round series with a win over the second-seeded Bruins in Washington on Sunday.

The Panthers blanked the New Jersey Devils 3-0 with netminder Jose Theodore making 30 stops, while the eighth seeded Senators topped the New York Rangers 2-0 behind Craig Anderson's 41 saves.

Ottawa, who got two goals from Jason Spezza, will try to advance with a Game Six win at home on Monday.


At Boston, Washington's Brouwer sent a shot over the shoulder of Bruins goalie Tim Thomas to clinch the win.

"Momentum is a big part in the playoffs and right now, going back to our own building, especially with a quick turnaround playing tomorrow, we got a lot of confidence in ourselves."

Washington grabbed a 3-2 lead early in the third period when Mike Knuble sent a big rebound past a sprawling Thomas, but a Johnny Boychuk slapshot from 60-feet tied the score five minutes later with 11 minutes to play.

Washington had a 2-0 lead just past the midway mark of the second period on goals from Alexander Semin and Jay Beagle.

But the Bruins responded three minutes later when Dennis Seidenberg and Brad Marchand scored 28 seconds apart, sending the home crowd into a frenzy leading into the second intermission.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto and Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)