Final: Bruins crush Blues 5-1, force Game 7 in Stanley Cup Final

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

It’s Game 7 time. The Boston Bruins will get a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup in their own building after beating the Blues 5-1 on Sunday night in a do-or-die Game 6.

Boston got its goals from a mix of likely and unlikely sources. Brad Marchand opened the scoring with a 5-on-3 power play goal. Then after getting to the third period still up just one, the floodgates opened.

Brandon Carlo made it 2-0 with a knuckle puck that squirted through Blues goalie Jordan Binnington. Rookie late-series insertion Karson Kuhlman added the third goal with a rocket past Binnington. David Pastrnak tacked on one more with the Bergeron line’s first 5-on-5 goal of the series.

Check below for highlights from the game and a recap of our live updates and analysis.

Live Updates: Third Period

-- 2:19: Zdeno Chara has made it 5-1 Bruins. The captain rips it from deep and all the way into the empty net. Barring a horrific meltdown, the Blues will need to win the Stanley Cup in the Bruins' building on Wednesday night.

-- 5:54: David Pastrnak has made it 4-1 Bruins. Sean Kuraly wins a puck battle to get it to Brad Marchand, who slips it to Pastrnak for the hesitation and wrister over Binnington. That's the first 5-on-5 goal scored by any of the top-three forwards for the Bruins in the entire series. Perhaps a sign that they've finally turned a corner with Game 7 on the horizon.

-- 7:59: The Blues are on the board. Rask loses his shutout on a shot by O'Reilly, which Rask appears to stop. But the replay shows that the puck completely crossed the goal line for a split second. It's still 3-1 Bruins, but signs of life for St. Louis. Even when Rask gives up a goal he makes a save.

-- 9:45: Kuhlman makes it 3-0 Bruins. He rips a wrister over Binnington's shoulder far-side. Great shot by Kuhlman, but probably another stoppable puck for Binnington. It sure looks like the Bruins are going to force a Game 7.

-- 11:39: Big collision between Sean Kuraly and Sammy Blais in the Blues' end. The puck ends up on Nordstrom's stick and he simply fires a slap shot at Binnington. Right idea at this point. Got to keep testing Binnington while he's shaky.

-- 17:42: Brandon Carlo has made it 2-0 Bruins. Jake DeBrusk wins a puck battle down low then skips it up to Carlo, who flips it from the point and it squeaks through Binnington's suspect five-hole. Weak goal for Binnington to allow and a huge development for the Bruins.

Recap: Second Period

-- Second Period Thoughts: Best game of the series so far. Both teams are playing their asses off. Tuukka Rask is absolutely dialed in for the Bruins and probably the only reason the Blues haven't scored. But the B's actually gained some traction at 5-on-5 in that period. The vast majority of the Blues' pressure came on the power play. The Krejci line is having its best game of the series thanks to the insertion of Kuhlman and all four lines have been able to generate chances around the net. The Blues are just so damn tough to extinguish once they can get their forecheck going deep in the Bruins' zone. Third period should be some of the most thrilling hockey of the entire playoffs.

-- 4:17: Bruins successfully kill off the McAvoy penalty. And Rask has to make yet another big save, this time on Tarasenko.

-- 6:17: Yet another penalty on the Bruins. Charlie McAvoy is whistled for tripping Vladimir Tarasenko in an open-ice collision. Looked more incidental than anything blatant, but nonetheless the Bruins have to kill it off yet again.

-- 7:59: Unbelievable sequence to keep the puck out of the net by the Bruins. It's fluttering over Tuukka Rask's shoulder and probably in, but Charlie McAvoy whacks it out of mid-air and into Rask's back. Rask pins the puck to his back with his glove. Rask has 18 saves so far and has been absolutely lights out against some Blues barrages.

-- 10:49: Bruins heading back to the PK. Marchand whistled for tripping Pietrangelo. Same kind of play that should've been called late in Game 5. But in this case the refs made the right call.

-- 12:18: Jaden Schwartz made a flashy backhand setup to Schenn for the one-timer, but Rask is there to snatch it with his glove. The puck may have been going wide, but Rask smothered the play. He continues to be locked in and may end up having to steal this game.

-- 13:15: Like what I see from Karson Kuhlman so far tonight. David Krejci's line has had more jump than its had in weeks. Kuhlman is markedly faster than Backes and he has shown some tenacity on the forecheck. Making a real difference for that line so far.

-- 15:21: Danton Heinen with the least threatening breakaway of all time. Charlie McAvoy makes an incredible pass from his own goal line all the way into the Blues' zone, but Heinen's attempt is broken up by Alex Pietrangelo.

-- 19:31: Bruins successfully kill off the Chara penalty. Rask makes two saves on the brief second-period power play.

Recap: First Period

-- First Period Thoughts: The Bruins have not played well in the second period for much of the playoffs, including this series. Entering the period tonight with a lead was paramount. They escaped deep pressure from the Blues' power play to hit the intermission with a 1-0 advantage, but still have 21 seconds to kill off. Overall, a good start for the B's, but they are still having some of the same problems against the Blues' forecheckers. They needed a 5-on-3 power play to score. But if Rask keeps playing like he has, he'll put the Bruins in a good position to get out of St. Louis with a season-saving win.

-- 1:39: The Bruins are going back to the penalty kill, and they're losing one of their specialists. Zdeno Chara is whistled for interference. This is where you'd prefer they let the boys play, but Chara is nonetheless off to the box for being stronger than David Perron.

-- 5:00: The Bruins are struggling mightily to clear the puck out of their own end when the Blues have caught them with Torey Krug and Connor Clifton together on the back end. They've had two notably long shifts hemming the Bruins in, and both included those two on defense. Krug needs Brandon Carlo's size to complement him back there. The Blues' big forwards and forechecking can wear them down if they're too small on defense.

-- 9:41: Blues kill off the O'Reilly penalty. Bruins had more opportunities but continued to over-pass, losing possession in traffic. But the B's can finally play with a lead again after two games of chasing the Blues.

-- 11:20: Brad Marchand makes it 1-0 Bruins. David Pastrnak makes a slick downward pass to the low faceoff circle and Marchand rifles a one-timer past Jordan Binnington. Bruins still have over 90 seconds of the other power play.

-- 11:41: Another penalty for the Blues. Top penalty killer Ryan O'Reilly is off for delay of game. The Bruins have a 5-on-3 for 58 seconds. Need to cash in here.

-- 12:43: The Bruins will go to the power play. Brayden Schenn is off for boarding Joakim Nordstrom. Dirty hit from Schenn, who quite clearly drove his arms right through the numbers on the back of Nordstrom's jersey. Nordstrom went face-first into the boards and is probably lucky not to be concussed.

-- 15:18: Bruins successfully kill off the penalty. Rask makes three saves on the PK.

-- 15:51: Two more massive stops for Rask, this time killing a penalty. Good sign that Rask looked absolutely locked in early.

-- 17:18: The Bruins are headed to the penalty kill. Sean Kuraly hurries his breakout attempt and it's straight over the glass for a delay of game penalty.

-- 17:47: Tuukka Rask has already had to make a big save. Connor Clifton turned it over from behind the Bruins' net. The Blues' forecheck has been relentless and it's a bad sign that they've found daylight this early in the game.

-- 19:19: Fourth line does its job. Scoring chance from the slot for Joakim Nordstrom. Pressure and testing Jordan Binnington early are key.

Pregame Updates

-- Sean Kuraly, Joakim Nordstrom, and Noel Acciari will start at forward for the Bruins. Bruce Cassidy clearly looking for his fourth line to spark an energetic effort in a do-or-die game.

-- The Bruins are inserting Karson Kuhlman into the lineup in place of defenseman Steven Kampfer, who played in Game 5. He replaces the twice-scratched David Backes at right wing on David Krejci's line. Big spot for the 23-year-old rookie, who last played on April 30 in Game 3 against the Blue Jackets.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].play