* Third period goals power St. Louis victory
* Capitals, Panthers and Senators just one win away
* Blackhawks top Coyotes in OT to avoid elimination (Adds quotes, late game)
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 the 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.
"Who better to do it than those guys (Langenbrunner and Perron) because they were battling all night," Blues netminder Brian Elliott told reporters after improving to 3-0 in the series. "They pulled through for us tonight."
Elliott, who stepped in for the injured Jaroslav Halak in Game Three, 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.
The Panthers-Devils series resumes on Tuesday at New Jersey.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Toews' goal 2:44 into overtime kept the Chicago Blackhawks alive in the West as they defeated the Raffi Torres-less Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 to close the gap in their best-of-seven series to 3-2.
It was the fifth consecutive extra session game in the Western series, tying a National Hockey League record.
Game Six is on Monday in Chicago.
Torres was suspended for 25 games on Saturday for his late hit to the head of Chicago's Marian Hossa in Tuesday's game.
At Boston, Washington's Brouwer sent a shot over the shoulder of Bruins goalie Tim Thomas to clinch the win.
"We just kind've regrouped in the neutral zone ... I just drove down the wing and let one go. I knew I just had to get it on net and it happened to go in," said Brouwer, who added that his team has plenty of confidence heading home.
"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.