Stanley Cup Finals Game 2: Boston 2 – St. Louis 3 (OT)
The team that has won Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals has gone on to win the Cup, 77% of the time. The team that has won Game 2 has gone on to win the Cup 75% of the time. With that being said, the Blues were 5-2 in games following a loss in the playoffs, and were to be expected to come out of the gate with energy. However, it was the Bruins that would start the game off on the better foot. Just less than five minutes played in the first period, the Bruins would go on the power play after Samuel Blais skated in on Tuukka Rask and just kept skating right through him. While it was a penalty, it was the right play, you should always attack the net hard, but unfortunately for the Blues, putting the Bruins on the power play is a horrible idea. Charlie Coyle would make them pay as he would take a Jake Debrusk pass and one time it past Jordan Binnington.
Just about halfway through the period, the Blues would get the game even after a Robert Bortuzzo goal. Just when it seemed that the Blues would be taking control of the game, Joakim Nordstrom answered. Exactly 40 seconds after the Blues evened the game, Nordstrom would find himself virtually wide open in front of the net and a little deke opened up Binnington’s five-hole for the easy goal and the lead once again.
As the Bruins held a 2-1 lead heading into the late stages of the period, the Blues would once again find the back of the net after Vladimir Tarasenko had a few opportunities that were stopped but eventually he was able to beat Rask and tie the game. We moved on to the second period and I was expecting more of the same from both teams. However, late in the first period, Matt Grzelcyk took a hit to the head into the boards and will likely be ruled out for a while with a concussion. So with the Bruins rotating five defensemen the rest of the game, they were bound to tire faster than the Blues. They definitely looked slower in the period, with the Blues really turning up the pressure. While there were no goals in the period, the Blues were by far the better team with a lot more shots and scoring opportunities. The main positive from this period is that the Bruins continue to play a physical brand of hockey like the have all postseason, and the big hits kept coming in this game just like the first. This time it was David Backes who would lay down the big hit on Samuel Blais who was trying to put Backes on the ice.
In the third period, both teams battled it out with more heavy hits, and great scoring opportunities. Throughout the period both teams had extended offensive zone pressure, but the Blues led that category. Tuukka bailed out the B’s big time making huge save after huge save.
The Bruins got a late power play in the period and other than the Coyle goal, the power plays have looked bad. This one however was better, still not great, but, better. Jordan Binnington made some great saves down the stretch and was the Blues best penalty killer. Both goalies were great in the period (also the posts) and we would eventually end up in overtime.
With the game on the line, the Blues steamrolled through the Bruins in overtime scoring four minutes in and controlling the puck the entire time. The B’s never really had any puck possession at all and the Blues made them pay. As the refs arm went up signaling a delayed penalty on the Bruins, the Blues just owned real estate in the offensive zone. They peppered Tuukka and controlled the puck not allowing the Bruins to clear the zone and eventually the puck would find the stick of Carl Gunnarsson who fired a shot from the blue line past Rask.
With the series tied at 1, we now will head to St. Louis for games 3 and 4. Game 3 will be on Saturday night at 8pm on NBCSN.
Videos courtesy of NHL.com