Stanley Cup Finals Game 6: Boston 5 – St. Louis 1
With the season on the line, the Bruins are in St. Louis for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals with the Blues leading the series 3 games to 2. Between the regular season and the playoffs this year, Tuukka Rask has not lost three games in a row and the Bruins haven’t lost more than two games in a row in these playoffs. Early on in this game, the Bruins would take a penalty and Rask was there to stop every shot. He made a series of saves after a net front battle and has continued to be the hardest goalie to beat in the playoffs.
The B’s needed to come out and start the game fast and hard with an intensity we haven’t seen yet, and while it wasn’t the greatest start, it would work in the first period. After the Blues would take a penalty for boarding, they would eventually get another minor penalty for delay of game and give the Bruins a 5 on 3 opportunity with over 90 seconds. It wouldn’t take long for the Bruins to break through as Brad Marchand scored on a one-time bullet from a near impossible angle and make it a 1-0 game.
Since Brad Marchand joined the Boston Bruins, they hold a playoff record of 24-1 all time when he scores including 7-0 this season in the playoffs going into this game. While he has struggled mightily in this series as well as his line mates, Marchand looked much better in the first period.
As we move on to the second period, the Bruins had to do some battling. In the period they gave up two more penalties resulting in seven shots on goal and Tuukka was a wall. Even when he didn’t completely make the save, his teammates were there to help him out. Like on this play when the Blues took a shot on the power play that dinged the post and hit Rask in the back. Charlie McAvoy swatted the puck out of the air before it could enter the goal.
It seems as though every year there is a huge save in the Stanley Cup Finals that gets remembered as a being “the save”, and we haven’t had one like that…until that play. I think that will be a memorable stop and it wasn’t even Tuukka.
As we moved on to the third period, the Bruin maintained a 1-0 lead and got off to a great start in the third. Less than three minutes in, Brandon Carlo would shoot the puck from the blue line and it ended up being a tumbler that would bounce through the legs of Jordan Binnington for the 2-0 lead.
As the period went on, the Bruins were definitely the better team as they controlled the play and made it look like we would be going to a Game 7 in Boston. Karson Kuhlman was inserted in the lineup for this game after being a healthy scratch for this series, and what a great move by Bruce Cassidy. Kuhlman was flying around the ice in this one and added an extra spark to the Krejci-DeBrusk line. As we got to the halfway point in the period, Kuhlman would add some insurance with a goal that was well deserved.
Shortly after the goal, Ryan O’Reilly would get a shot on goal that Rask appeared to have saved, but after a break in the play it was reviewed and the puck clearly crossed the line. No argument from me, I thought it was in right away. Now with time winding down and the Blues back in the game, the Bruins had to either buckle down and defend or continue to play their game and get a three goal lead back. They would choose the latter like they usually do, and they got the goal back. Sean Kuraly would be awesome on the forecheck and steal the puck behind the goal, get it to Brad Marchand who found David Pastrnak for the goal and a 4-1 lead.
The Blues now needing three goals with under six minutes to go, would pull Binnington for the extra attacker but it would not work and the Bruins would add one to the empty net. Zdeno Chara would deal the final blow and even though it was an empty net goal, no one deserved it more than big Z.
We now move on to Game 7 which will be on Wednesday night at 8pm in Boston.
Videos courtesy of NHL.com