Bruins Pull Away from Blues, Force Game 7 of Stanley Cup
The Bruins scored the first goal, after dropping Games 4 and 5 of the Cup Final while yielding the first goal of each game to the Blues
Let ‘em play seven.
Brad Marchand, Brandon Carlo, Karson Kuhlman, David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara scored, while Tuukka Rask was otherworldly in the crease en route to a 5-1 win for the Bruins over the Blues to force a decisive seventh game of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night back at the TD Garden.
Marchand, the leading scorer in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 22 points, ripped a 5-on-3 tally past St. Louis netminder Jordan Binnington at 8:40 of the first period to break open scoring.
Given that the Bruins dropped Games 4 and 5 of the Cup Final while yielding the first goal of each game to the Blues, the importance of Marchand’s goal can’t be understated, even if it did take a two-man advantage to make it happen. Initially on the power play thanks to a boarding call against Brayden Schenn, Boston found itself in a truly perfect opportunity to score the first goal after Ryan O’Reilly errantly cleared a puck from his defensive zone over the glass. David Pastrnak and Torey Krug had the assists on Marchand’s goal.
The Bruins maintained a 1-0 lead until the early moments of the third period, when Brandon Carlo adhered to one of hockey’s most simple principles: put pucks on net. Carlo, never a prolific goal scorer, saw his shot trickle through the arm of Binnington at 2:31 of the third on a feed from Jake DeBrusk.
But Carlo wasn't the only offensively-challenged member of the Black and Gold to find the back of the net in the third. Kuhlman, inserted into the lineup by Boston coach Bruce Cassidy for Game 6, scored what stood as the dagger at 10:15.
In scoring, Kuhlman became the 21st different player to score a goal for the Bruins since the playoffs began.
Though Ryan O'Reilly put the Blues on the board at 12:01 of the third, Pastrnak scored at 14:06 to cancel things out. Chara's empty net goal at 17:41 made it all but official that St. Louis wouldn't be celebrating the franchise's first Stanley Cup title on home ice.
Rask stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced, cementing himself as the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs should the Bruins win on Wednesday. O'Reilly likely did the same for himself should the Blues come out of Boston with a W.
Game 7 is Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on NBC 10 Boston.