It all comes down to this. Game 7 is here between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues. This marks the first time since 2011 that the Cup Final has gone to a game 7. History was already made in a way as this game marked the first time ever that Boston had hosted a game 7. The part of history that St. Louis is looking to write here is to achieve the franchises 1st ever Stanley Cup. As it sits the Blues are the oldest team in the NHL who have never lifted Lord Stanley’s Cup. The stage was set in the Boston Gardens where the winner of this game would etch their place in history as the 2018-19 Stanley Cup Champions.
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The Bruins started the 1st period with a absolute frenzy. After the Blues had a single shot early on, the Bruins dominated the play in period 1. This was most apparent during the games only powerplay early on where Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington saved the day. Binnington made save after save, with many being difficult high quality scoring chances. The Blues would go over 16 minutes without a single shot on goal, however when they did they certainly made good on it. Shot 2 was a bad angle easy save by Tuukka Rask, but this lead to shot 3 and the games 1st goal. the puck came to Jay Bouwmeester who took a shot that got deflected by Ryan O’Reilly. This goal not only opened the scoring of the game but gave O’Reilly a 4-game goal streak in the Cup Finals, the 1st time since Wayne Gretzky did it in 1985. The Blues weren’t quite done there as they’d score another in the dying seconds of the period and on just their 4th shot. Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo would dance is way in unmolested and roof the backhander over the blocker hand of Rask ending the period at 2-0. The Bruins badly out-shot the Blues at 12-4 but despite this found themselves trailing at home with 2 periods to go.
Boston continued to dominate the Blues in the shot counter in period 2. It mattered little that they held an 11-6 edge in the 2nd period as nobody scored a single goal in period 2. Ironically enough The Blues came closest as a rogue bounce almost made it 3-0. The puck bounced over Rask who swung around as the puck hopped off the top of the crossbar. It then descended down off the Bruins goaltender and would have found it’s way into the net had it not been for a diving effort by Zdeno Chara. That heroic save kept the game at 2-0 with just 1 period left.
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Once the 3rd period rolled around the Blues finally came to life. Yes they still had the lead before hand but that was largely off a terrific goaltending performance from Binnington. The Blues hard work in the final period payed off mid-way through as they’d increase their lead. as the puck went into the Boston end Vladimir Tarasenko would grab it and send it to the middle of the ice. There it would be received by Brayden Schenn who blasted the one-timer past the left leg of Rask giving the Blues a 3-0 lead. After that things went from good to great for the Blues as just under 5 minutes later the Blues would score again. Scoring his 1st ever playoff goal on another one-timer was Zach Sanford. David Perron would feed the cross-ice pass and Sanford would fire it into a yawning cage making it 4-0. With the game virtually sealed at this point there was just the matter of Binnington’s shut-out. Unfortunately for the rookie netminder the shutout was broken by Matt Grzelcyk. Grzelcyk fired off a perfect shot over the right shoulder of Binnington and right in the spot where the post and cross-bar meet making the final score 4-1 Blues. The 3rd period shots were even at 10-10 and were 33-20 for the Bruins in the game, but alas the Bruins shot dominance was all for not. The Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP went to Blues forward Ryan O’Reilly who picked up 8 goals and 15 assists in 26 games. That concludes another chapter in the NHL. The next season will start in early October, but until then congratulations to the St. Louis Blues who are your 2018-19 Stanley Cup Champions!