Boston Bruins 7, St. Louis Blues 2
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, June 1, 2019
Where: Enterprise Center, St. Louis
By Field Level Media
ST. LOUIS — Four power-play chances. Four shots. Four goals.
It’s hard to do any better than the Boston Bruins did with the man advantage in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.
Defenseman Torey Krug’s goal and three assists led a dominant effort as Boston took a 2-1 series lead with a 7-2 rout of the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.
Patrice Bergeron added a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who also got a goal and an assist each from Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson. Joakim Nordstrom chipped in with a pair of assists.
Boston was so efficient on the power play that it needed just 2:06 to convert all of its opportunities.
“I can tell you as a penalty-killer in practice, it’s hard to compete against those guys,” left wing Jake DeBrusk said. “I can tell you they’re a lot of fun to watch. I have a lot of respect for the way they move the puck. They’re really good and talented players, and they find options all over the ice.”
Game 4 is Monday night in St. Louis, and the Blues have to equalize in order to avoid an elimination scenario in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston. The Blues will get center Oskar Sundqvist back after he was suspended from Saturday night’s game for boarding Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2 on Wednesday.
They’ll also need a bounce-back game from rookie goalie Jordan Binnington, who was pulled after Krug’s man-advantage marker at 12:12 of the second period made it 5-1 Bruins. Binnington stopped just 14 of 19 shots, getting little help from a defense that made a spate of errors in its zone.
“Five goals … I’d seen enough,” said St. Louis interim coach Craig Berube. “But my confidence level in him is really high.”
Hosting its first finals game since 1970, St. Louis brought out the big guns. Olympic legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee, current NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, former Rams superstar Isaac Bruce and actor Jon Hamm were among the celebrities waving rally towels in an electric building.
The Blues fired the first five shots at net, not allowing Boston to get a shot on goal for more than six minutes. But the game’s shape changed shortly after David Perron went off for interference against Jake DeBrusk at 10:26.
Twenty-one seconds later, Bergeron deflected Krug’s point shot past Binnington. Then the real trouble started for St. Louis in a 3:01 span bridging the first and second periods.
Coyle wired a wrister by Binnington’s glove at 17:40 for a 2-0 lead. Fourth-line center Sean Kuraly beat Binnington from the top of the right circle at 19:50. Berube challenged the goal for coming on an offside play, but he lost the challenge, which gave the Bruins a power play on a minor penalty for delay of game.
David Pastrnak cashed in 41 seconds into the second period with a backhander at the left post to make it 4-0. The raucous arena was suddenly as quiet as a school library on a Friday afternoon.
“We try to exploit certain areas,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said of his team’s power play.
Ivan Barbashev offered the Blues a lifeline with his third playoff goal at 11:05 of the second, but Krug took it away just 31 seconds into the Bruins’ third man advantage. Jake Allen relieved Binnington and faced only four shots, saving three.
Colton Parayko’s power play blast from the point at 5:24 of the third period pulled St. Louis within 5-2. But Noel Acciari scored into an empty net at 18:12, and Johansson added a man-advantage tally 23 seconds later to cap the scoring.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask made 27 saves.
–By Bucky Dent, Field Level Media