The Boston Bruins used big performances from goalie Tuukka Rask, the penalty kill and an onslaught of goals in the third period to prevent the St. Louis Blues from winning their first Stanley Cup.
The visitors won 5-1 thanks to goals from Brad Marchand, Brandon Carlo, Karson Kuhlman (playing for the first time since April 30), David Pastrnak and an empty-netter from Zdeno Chara, along with the 28 saves from Rask.
Rask protected Boston’s lead by making 19 saves in the first two periods, getting some help from defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who prevented a puck from going into the net by hitting it midair after it went off the post and Rask‘s back.
After the game Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy told media, “Just the thought of it being over tonight was terrifying.” He continued, “We’d come all this way. We come together when it matters, and I think tonight was just a good example of that. We’re thankful. We’re blessed with a chance to play in Game 7 now.”
Ryan O’Reilly scored for a third straight game, and Jordan Binnington made 27 saves for the hosts, who lost two if its three home games in the best-of-7 series.
The goal came on a review from the Situation Room in Toronto, the puck was eventually seen to have fully crossed the line, and the goal was given.
Head Coach Craig Berube said, “If you told me four months ago we were going to be in the Final in Game 7, I think I’d take it….. We’ve been a good road team. We’ve won twice up there in this series, so we’re a confident group.”
Though St. Louis failed in their first chance to win the Cup since entering the league in the 1967/68 season, goalie Binnington said, “You’re not going to win every game… You’re not going to be perfect. We have to regroup and play our game, be disciplined, stay composed and hopefully have a better outcome.”
They might very well get their wish in Game 7; the Blues have a great habit of coming out stronger than ever, looking like a completely different side and winning on the back of a loss, especially this postseason.
They will also have forward Ivan Barbashev back in the line up. He missed Game 6 due to suspension for an illegal check to the head of Boston forward Marcus Johansson.
Wednesday’s game will not only be the 17th Cup Final Game 7 since the NHL went to the best-of-7 format in 1939, it will also be the first since 2011, when the Bruins won 4-0 at the Vancouver Canucks, and the only Cup Final Game 7 the Bruins have hosted.
Blues v Bruins – Wednesday, June 12 (8pm – NBC)
ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN