NHL Game Preview - Blues v Bruins

 
NHL Hockey
Scoreboard| Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions
4
Final 1 2 3 Tot
St. Louis 2 0 2 4
Boston 0 0 1 1
1
Blues win series 4-3
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT, June 12, 2019
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 17,565

Boston chases another title as Bruins, Blues play Game 7

St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins

  1. Home teams are 12-4 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final but have lost each of the last two -- Boston beat Vancouver in 2011 and Pittsburgh defeated Detroit in 2009. The road team has won four of six games in this series, the first Stanley Cup Final to have four wins by the road team since 2004.
  2. St. Louis is 9-3 on the road this postseason, one win shy of becoming the sixth team in NHL history to win 10 playoff games on the road -- four of the first five won the Stanley Cup. The Blues could become the first team ever to win the Stanley Cup despite having a losing home record in the playoffs (6-7).
  3. Boston will be playing in its 12th Game 7 since 2008, tied with the Capitals for the most in that 12-season span. Seventeen teams have played fewer than 12 entire series in that span, including the Oilers, Panthers, and Sabres -- each of whom has played just 13 total playoff games in that span.
  4. Zdeno Chara will make his 14th career appearance in a Game 7, the most in NHL history. It will be his 12th Game 7 with Boston, which would be tied with Patrice Bergeron for the most in franchise history. That duo along with David Krejci (11th) are the only three players in franchise history with 10+ Game 7s for the Bruins.
  5. Ryan O'Reilly scored the lone St. Louis goal in Game 6, his fifth straight game with at least one point. He's the fourth player since 2000 to record a point in five consecutive games within a single Stanley Cup Final, joining Washington's Alex Ovechkin (2018), Carolina's Cory Stillman (2006) and Detroit's Sergei Fedorov (2002); each of the previous three won the Cup.
  6. With a win, Boston will celebrate its third title in eight months and 13th since 2000 -- most of any city in this millennium. Boston would become the third city in North American sports history to "hold" three major U.S. titles concurrently, along with Detroit in 1935-36 (Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings) and New York in 1927-28 (Yankees, Football Giants, and Rangers).

The city of Boston has celebrated more than its fair share of sports championships in recent years, but never before has it played host to Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final.

That will change after Wednesday, when the Bruins take on the St. Louis Blues in the winner-take-all showdown. The matchup marks the 17th time the finals have gone seven games, with the home team winning 12 of the previous instances.

"We're expecting the fans to be awesome," Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said. "Obviously the energy is going to be electric. The atmosphere is going to be -- I can't even imagine how it's going to be like. You have to manage that in a way, use that to your advantage."

The Bruins are looking to capture their seventh NHL championship, having last hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2011. The Blues seek their first after entering the series 0-12 between three previous trips to the finals.

St. Louis had a chance to close things out at home in Game 6 on Sunday, but Boston, invigorated by a pregame speech from Bergeron, dominated the contest from the start, ultimately winning 5-1.

"When he talks, everyone listens," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said. "Any time a guy like that speaks up, you listen. Obviously a huge motivating factor, got the guys going for sure."

Bergeron's top line also got going in the game, with wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each registering a goal and an assist. The trio was off to a slow start early in the series, paving the way for players such as Charlie Coyle (three goals in the finals) and Sean Kuraly (five points) to carry the offense.

"The big players tend to step up because they're the better players, but when it's the other guys, it's because the rest of the guys have done their job so the game hasn't gotten away from you," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "That's been our deal all year."

The Blues, conversely, are still looking for more from some of their biggest offensive threats. Jaden Schwartz, the team's leading goal-scorer in the playoffs with 12, has yet to find net this series, while Vladimir Tarasenko has gone without a point the last two games.

"It's been a tight series," Schwartz said. "This time of the year, it's dirty goals. Even from the goal line, we can do a better job of jamming pucks, finding guys open."

On the power play is where the Blues could use the biggest boost. While Boston is 7 of 21 with the man advantage in the finals, St. Louis is 1 of 18, its only marker coming in Game 3.

"I thought the adjustments we made for Game 6 at home, we had good looks," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "But I know we need results."

Coming back from last place in the NHL as recently as Jan. 2, the Blues continue to hitch their wagon to rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington. The 25-year-old allowed four goals on 31 shots in Game 6 but is 7-2 following a loss this postseason.

On the other side, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask appears to be the front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Rask stopped 28 of 29 shots Sunday and has a 1.93 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage this postseason.

The Blues will get forward Ivan Barbashev back after he was suspended for Game 6 following an illegal check in Game 5. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (concussion) practiced in a non-contact jersey Tuesday and is likely to be a game-time decision Wednesday night.

A Game 7 victory for Boston would be the city's 13th championship across the four major North American sports since 2000. Both the MLB's Boston Red Sox and NFL's New England Patriots have won in the past year.

--By Kyle Brasseur, Field Level Media

Updated June 11, 2019

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.