By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The St. Louis Blues came in to Boston on Wednesday night and made one hell of a statement. They are Stanley Cup champions after dominating the Bruins 4-1 at TD Garden, and it’s a well-earned victory in the final stanza of the season.
Jordan Binnington stood tall for the Blues in this one, not allowing a goal until 2:10 was left in regulation and the game was well in hand. He made 32 saves in a championship effort.
Tuukka Rask stopped just 16 of 20 Blues shots in the game, but it’s hard to blame him for this game when the guys in front of him played such sloppy, uninspired hockey in the biggest game of the season. The scapegoat will be Brad Marchand, whose ill-advised decision to leave the ice with just 10 seconds left in the first period helped spark the Blues’ second goal.
St. Louis never looked back from there, and they are champions. Check below for a recap of our live updates.
Recap: Third Period
— 2:10: Matt Grzelcyk spoils Jordan Binnington’s shutout. It’s 4-1 Blues, though, and the game is a formality at this point.
— 4:38: Zach Sanford has made it 4-0 Blues. Does it really matter how it happened? The Bruins are getting embarrassed now, in their own building, in a Game 7. Just a brutal way for a great season to end.
— 8:35: Brayden Schenn makes it 3-0 Blues. That’s probably the game at this point. Little reason to believe the Bruins can mount this kind of comeback. And before that Jordan Binnington made the save of the game on Joakim Nordstrom.
— 14:17: Jake DeBrusk appeared to get tripped in front of the net but it wasn’t obvious enough to warrant a call. The fans are practically begging for a power play. It’s a sign that they know it’s what the Bruins need to penetrate the Blues defense right now.
— 18:54: Shot on goal and Binnington makes the save. Bruins getting zone time early in this fight-for-their-lives period.
Recap: Second Period
— 2:29: Bruins keep making bad passes to nowhere, and it’s killing their scoring chances. The Blues, meanwhile, look confident and rock-solid both on the back end and in net.
— 6:11: Marchand fires a wrister and Binnington gloves it. Bruins are out-shooting the Blues 7-4 in this period but it doesn’t feel like it. In fact, the biggest chance came for the Blues but Rask made an unbelievable series of stops to keep the game from becoming 3-0.
Because of Tuukka Rask, this puck stayed out pic.twitter.com/ZhxYCOct7i— Boston Bruins on CLNS (@BruinsCLNS) June 13, 2019
— 11:03: The Blues are suffocating the Bruins and sucking the life out of TD Garden. Bruins look and feel lifeless right now. The Blues just make it so hard to get through their wall of defenders when they’re playing with a lead.
— 17:38: And the pack-in begins. The Blues are content to slow things down and grind the clock away with dump-ins and tight defense. The Bruins need to play some serious desperation hockey, immediately.
Recap: First Period
— 0:07: Alex Pietrangelo has made it 2-0 Blues. It started with a turnover by David Pastrnak, then a bad line change by Marchand who inexplicably left the ice as the Blues came the other way with under 10 seconds in the period. After the B’s dominated much of the first period, the Blues scored twice on three shots in the final 3:13 of the period. The Bruins have a big uphill battle ahead of them, having to come back from a two-goal deficit against a strong defensive team.
— 3:13: Ryan O’Reilly has made it 1-0 Blues. Ryan O’Reilly tipped it through Tuukka Rask’s pads. He gained position in the slot to make his deflection possible.
— 7:30: Marcus Johansson stole the puck for a point-blank opportunity, but can’t quite lift it over Binnington. The Bruins are cooking, but are getting closer to having nothing to show for it.
— 10:11: Binnington with another big stop on DeBrusk. Blues kill off the penalty three seconds after the faceoff. Binnington has given up some rebounds but he’s also made a number of spectacular saves in this period. It feels like the way he played in the first period of Game 5 so far.
— 11:08: Marchand gets a shot on goal. Still 1:05 to go on the man advantage.
— 12:03: Bruins going to the power play. Colton Parayko whistled for delay of game.
— 12:24: Marcus Johansson had a juicy scoring opportunity but Jordan Binnington made a great save. Bruins had a flurry of other chances and are beginning to establish some real zone time.
Binnington with a pair of monster saves. pic.twitter.com/mP44W6NRtc— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) June 13, 2019
— 16:16: Blues forecheck is plugging away, but the Bruins get the first real scoring chance of the game. John Moore fires it and there’s a rebound, but the puck is rolling.
— 19:16: Blues open the game with a sustained possession in the Bruins’ zone. But it’s flipped out of play for a faceoff outside the zone.
Live Updates: Pre-Game
— Bruins starting with their fourth forward line of Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly, and Noel Acciari. Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy are your starting defensive pair.
— The Stanley Cup is officially in the building, according to the Stanley Cup.
I’m here.— The Stanley Cup (@StanleyCup) June 13, 2019
— Matt Grzelcyk took line rushes with John Moore. So it looks like he will indeed be in for Connor Clifton, as previously reported.
— Bruins and Blues officially take the ice for Game 7 warmups. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is indeed out there. Winger Chris Wagner also participating.
— Rumors are swirling about the Bruins’ final fan banner captain of the season. First the rumor was former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, but now the sense is that Thomas isn’t even in Massachusetts, let alone at TD Garden. Another rumor is that former Red Sox legend David Ortiz could deliver a video message for the team just days after he got shot before being transported to Boston for treatment. Nothing will be official until the team sends out its pre-game news release around 7:30 p.m., at the earliest. There’s a chance it’ll be a surprise to everyone.
— The Bruins are expected to re-insert defenseman Matt Grzelcyk into the lineup after he missed the last four games due to entering the concussion protocol. Grzelcyk has been cleared to play and head coach Bruce Cassidy said on Wednesday that he would replace Connor Clifton. The Blues, meanwhile, are reportedly playing defenseman Joel Edmundson over Robert Bortuzzo. Ivan Barbashev, who was suspended for Game 6, will go back in for Robert Thomas.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.