By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Nothing about Saturday night’s head-to-head between the Bruins and Blues could have changed what happened at TD Garden last June. The Stanley Cup was not in the building, Canal St. was not a party zone (and if it is, it’s probably not a party you want to be involved in on a chilly October night), and TD Garden’s offseason upgrades did not include a time machine.
So, the Bruins instead focused on what they could earn in this rematch of last year’s 2019 Stanley Cup Final: The two points. Points that Bruce Cassidy’s squad earned by way of a 3-0 win over Jordan Binnington and the Blues.
Now, that’s not to say that the Bruins didn’t come into this game truly sticking to the “this is just another game” script they tried selling you on Friday’s practice day. The opening sequence proved to be untrue, as Zdeno Chara went right at Oskar Sundqvist, who concussed Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2 and knocked the 5-foot-9 defender out ’til Game 7, in the opening moments of play.
It was enough to give the Bruins a spark, but it wasn’t enough to land them on the scoreboard until the 14:59 mark of the first period when David Pastrnak’s one-time bomb on the power play squeaked under Binnington and into the St. Louis net.
Pastrnak’s power-play trickler gave the Bruins power-play goals in six straight games, making it the first time that the team has done that in the regular season under Bruce Cassidy. That regular season aspect is of note, as the Bruins did this during last year’s postseason run, of course, scoring power-play tallies from the third round and into the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
It was also Pastrnak’s league-best 11th goal of the campaign.
Carrying a one-goal edge into the first intermission, the Bruins found themselves on the ropes in the early part of the second frame as the Blues ravaged Boston skaters along the boards with every dump into the B’s end. But the Bruins paid the price again and again and stayed out of danger long enough to extend their lead to two when Grzelcyk got the Blues to bite hard enough to find Anders Bjork all alone for a one-time bomb through Binnington to make it 2-0 in favor of the Bruins.
The goal was good for Bjork’s first NHL goal of the new season, and his first goal with the Big B’s since Oct. 13, 2018.
Denying the Blues chances from in tight through the first 40 minutes, the third period brought about more of the same from the Bruins, and allowed Rask to stop nine third-period shots for what finished as a 26-save shutout victory.
Binnington, meanwhile, finished with 21 saves in a losing performance.
Brandon Carlo made it a 3-0 final with a long-range empty-net goal.
The Boston penalty killed finished the night with a perfect 4-for-4 mark.
Bruins center David Krejci missed his fourth straight game due to an upper-body injury, while Joakim Nordstrom returned to action after missing two games with an upper-body ailment of his own.
The Bruins will head to New York for a Sunday night head-to-head with the Rangers.