After nearly two whole weeks since their last game against the Carolina Hurricanes, it was finally time for the Bruins to play the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Blues are still trying to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history and this Bruins’ team wants to become the seventh in franchise history to hoist the Cup. Going into Game 1, the Boston Bruins were 1.5 point favorites, but some were questioning if their extended time off would have caused them to lose their momentum.
The first 10 minutes of this game was played at an extremely high pace by both teams.
It leads to some empty possessions and mental errors but the anticipation of playing in the Stanley Cup Finals is enough to make anybody over-anxious. One particularly costly mistake led to the Blues first goal of the game and series. The puck got sent down to the Bruins’ defensive zone and Zdeno Chara thought he was the only skating back to retrieve it, but Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues beat Chara to the puck which set up the offensive possession in which the Blues scored. The Bruins had to scramble to get back on defense and the Blues fired off two long shots and were able to retrieve the rebound and Brayden Schenn snuck it in up over Tuukka Rask’s blocker making the score 1-0, Blues.
The Blues seemed to pick up the pace and Bruins were slowing down after that first goal was scored. They were getting the puck into the offensive zone but the Blues’ defensemen were always there to clean it up. The Blues went into the first intermission with a one-goal lead in a game on the road in which they were underdogs.
As the second period kicked off, the Bruins were making smarter passes and had looked to calm down since the first. They were playing like the team who was on a seven-game win streak going into game 1 against the Blues.
Just when it looked like they were putting it together, David Pastrnak makes a crucial mistake leaving the puck behind the net for Zdeno Chara who was nowhere near the puck. Brayden Schenn beat all the Bruins to the puck and found an open Vladimir Tarasenko skating right in front of the net unmarked. Tarasenko knocked it in and the Blues went up 2-0. Both of these goals were the result of mental lapses by the Bruins, but the second one was definitely a wake-up call for the team.
Now the found themselves down by two goals, but they still had 19 minutes on the clock so they did not panic.
Roughly a minute later, the Bruins were able to cut the lead in half. Sean Kuraly skated through multiple defenders and found himself in the Bruins offensive zone which caused Blues’ defensemen to shift over.
This led to Kuraly finding Connor Clifton right next to the next and fed him an excellent pass to lead to Bruins’ first goal. The goal got the crowd back into the game and the Bruins fed off that energy. Later in the period, Charlie McAvoy was able to score the Bruins’ second goal to tie up the game with 7:19 left in the second period and the Bruins went into the locker room with all the momentum after tying up a game that was quickly getting out of hand for them.
The fourth line came up big for the Bruins again in the third period after Connor Clifton intercepted a pass that ultimately led to the Bruins scoring again.
Noel Acciari found Sean Kuraly across the front of the net and Kuraly was able to tap it in as the Bruins took a 3-2 over the Blues. At this point, the Blues were very frustrated and a little rattled. This caused the game to get a little chippy in the third period, but that’s just how the Bruins like to play. Torey Krug was getting into it with many players on the Blues and after wrestling with David Perron in front of the net that caused him to lose his helmet, Krug had snapped.
He skated the length of the ice like a heat-seeking missile and his only intention was to hit the first Blues’ player who he saw. That poor soul on the receiving end of that hit was Robert Thomas. Krug completely flattened Thomas with a hard clean hit and the TD Garden went absolutely crazy. St. Louis had gotten away from their game plan and the Bruins were in their heads. With about two minutes left, the Blues pulled Jordan Binnington off the ice to bring on a sixth skater, but this just led to an easy goal for Brad Marchand to make the score 4-2.
The game ended shortly after and the Bruins were able to fight back from a two-goal deficit to when the game 4-2.