The St. Louis Blues will look to pick themselves up and dust themselves off after blowing a two-goal lead in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Boston Bruins will look to continue their string of dominance, and especially their level of play in the final two periods of Game 1. The moneyline for Game 2 is Boston -165.
Blues Hope to Regroup Yet Again
When you were in last place in the entire league on January 3 and have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, there has to be some soul searching. The Blues have had a game they’d like to have back in each of their playoff series against Winnipeg, Dallas, and San Jose. They rebounded to win the next game each time. The fact that the team that wins Game 1 has won the Stanley Cup 77.2 percent of the time does not seem to faze the Blues either. Center Ryan O’Reilly called the loss “a wakeup call.”
St. Louis may receive a shot in the arm on defense as the return of defenseman Vince Dunn may be imminent. He has been out since Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against San Jose when he took a puck to the face. Coach Craig Berube has not ruled Dunn out of Game 2 just yet. The Blues will continue to rely on rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington, who continues to play solid hockey. In Game 1, he stopped 34-37 shots. Binnington has a goals-against average of 2.40 in the playoffs, which is sixth in the NHL. Forward Jaden Schwartz is second in goals scored with 12, including two hat tricks.
Boston Looking for Nine in a Row
The Boston Bruins come into Game 2 on an eight-game winning streak. After a sluggish start after an 11-day layoff, the Bruins got it going in the second period. Goals by defenseman Connor Clifton, Charlie McAvoy, Sean Kuraly, and Brad Marchand completed the comeback. Boston’s physical play caused the Blues to take undisciplined penalties, which allowed the Bruins to attack in the offensive zone. The Bruins run four very effective lines out, and physicality and speed make them a formidable foe for anyone, as evidenced by their current winning streak.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask leads the NHL in goals-against during the playoffs at 1.85 goals per game. He also is the leader in save percentage at .940. Forwards Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are tied for fifth in the league with eight goals each in the playoffs. Coach Bruce Cassidy does not expect much to change, as his players are healthy and locked in.
The Blues have faced adversity in each of their first three series of this postseason. They have responded each and every time. Boston plays a different style than any of the other opponents the Blues have had. The Bruins are fast and physical. Both goaltenders are playing very well. This should be a close game that the Blues will win and take the series back to St. Louis tied 1-1.