The NHL fans will witness the best possible ending of the season. Game 7. Boston Bruins managed to escape death in Missouri, by trashing St. Louis with 5-1.
The Blues missed a unique chance to win the Stanley Cup in front of their fans. But that is not the worst thing. What is even more important now, is that the momentum shifted to the Bruins’ side.
After tonight’s victory at the Enterprise Center, Boston’s players will have the home crowd behind them in Game 7, and a huge morale boost. Many of the fans already wrote them off, but Bruce Cassidy’s boys weren’t in the mood to waive the white flag.
“The whole hockey world loves a Game 7, so it should be a great night in Boston and may the best team win,” Bruins coach said.
His team completely crushed the Blues, who were under heavy pressure to win the trophy at home. In the end, that burden was just to heavy for them, and couldn’t carry it in this game. The third period was probably their worst in the entire playoffs. Blues allowed four goals in 12 shots.
Nothing indicated that something like this would happen. The Bruins got the lead with 8:40 in the first quarter, when Marchand sent a one-time in Binnington’s lower right corner. In those moments, the home team had two players fewer on the ice because both Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly were out after receiving penalties.
Their reckless actions decided the first sequence because nothing interesting happened after that.
Nothing notable took place in the second quarter also. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was in the center of attention, as he closed all the paths towards his net, preventing the Blues from leveling the score. Without any doubts, we might say that Rask was the man of the match. With 28 saves, some of them unreal, like the one when he stopped the puck with his back in the second, he was the difference maker on the ice.
“I didn’t know where it was, and I figured it might be somewhere behind me, so I just tried to corral it with my hand behind my back — and then it stuck in my pants, and then it fell somewhere,” Rask said.
After two and a half minutes in the third, Brandon Carlo doubled the lead with a wrist shot from the right point. The hosts dropped the guard afterward and became more aggressive, but that didn’t help them too much.
Still trying to grasp this save by Tuukka Rask 😮
— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) June 10, 2019
It only made things worse.
Karson Kuhlman scored the third goal with 9:45 left. O’Reilly then decreased the lead, and gave some hope to the hosts, with 7:59 until the buzzer, but that was just a shot breathed spark. Soon enough, the guests added two more goals. David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara sealed the win, and forced the fans to hit the exits earlier than they expected.
The situation in Game 7 will be different than in St. Louis, but the Blues’ players are not afraid of it. They know how to win on the road, and the majority of their successes were made outside the Enterprise Center. That is what O’Reilly mentioned after the match.
“We’re confident. We’re a great road team. Maybe that’s our story. Maybe we have to get it done on the road.”
The Bruins will play their first Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals at home. It is something TD Garden never saw. Pressure will be high on both sides, no doubt about that. Listening to Reilly’s words, it is quite possible that the Blues’ destiny is to be a road team, the one who plays the best when all odds are against them.
The spectacle in Boston starts at 8 pm ET this Wednesday. Don’t miss it.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.