NHL Hockey

2
Final 1 2 3 Tot
St. Louis 1 1 0 2
Boston 0 2 2 4
4
Bruins lead 1-0
Three Stars
1: Sean Kuraly, Bos (1G, 1A)
2: Marcus Johansson, Bos
3: Connor Clifton, Bos (1G)
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT, May 27, 2019
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 17,565

After long layoff, Bruins host Blues in Game 1 of finals

St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins

  1. The Blues are making their fourth ever Stanley Cup Final appearance and first since 1970. They were swept in each of their previous three appearances, most recently getting swept by the Bruins in the 1970 Stanley Cup Final.
  2. Boston is making its third Stanley Cup Final appearance since 2010-11, most of any team. The Bruins are 5-11 all-time in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, and have lost six straight, the last four by one goal. This will be the first time the Bruins open the Stanley Cup Final at home since 1990 (lost to Edmonton, 3-2).
  3. The Blues are 7-2-0 on the road this postseason, on pace to be the second-best road win percentage in a single postseason in franchise history (4-1 in 1997-98). It is also on pace to be the best by any team since the Stanley Cup champion Kings went 10-1 in 2011-12 (minimum five road games).
  4. Jaden Schwartz has scored 12 goals this postseason, one goal away from tying Brett Hull in 1989-90 for most goals in a single postseason in Blues history. Schwartz's 12 goals are already more than the 11 goals he scored in 69 regular season games.
  5. Patrice Bergeron is one point shy of 100 career playoff points and looks to become the sixth Bruin all-time to score 100 points in the postseason. He leads the Bruins with eight goals this postseason, including two in the series-clinching Game 4 against the Hurricanes.
  6. Tuukka Rask has posted a 1.84 GAA in the playoffs, on pace to be the second lowest (minimum 10 GP) by a Bruins goaltender behind Francis Brimsek, who led the Bruins to their second Stanley Cup in 1938-39 with a 1.25 GAA. Rask recorded his seventh career playoff shutout in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, second most in franchise history behind Gerry Cheevers (eight).

The Boston Bruins are riding a seven-game winning streak. The St. Louis Blues have won three straight to overcome a controversial overtime loss.

And yet, both teams will be looking to regain momentum after a lengthy layoff ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday in Boston.

The Bruins will have gone 11 days between games after finishing off a sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference finals, while the Blues will be six days removed from surging past the San Jose Sharks with a Game 6 win in the West. For its part, Boston held an intrasquad scrimmage in front of a near-sellout crowd Thursday as a way to try to stay fresh.

"Once you go 10 days with no playing, I think it's good to get a little action in and get used to that pace," said Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. "I think that's what we wanted to accomplish, and it looked good."

Making sure Rask continues to play the way he has is perhaps the biggest key for the Bruins against the Blues. The former Vezina Trophy winner has a 1.84 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in the playoffs and has posted shutouts in two of his past five games.

"Yeah, it's been a long layover I guess, kind of like a training camp situation in that sense," Rask said. "But I think it's always in the back of your head that we're going to start the finals soon, so you're focused but you're just waiting."

The Blues expect to have little problem maintaining focus heading into their first Stanley Cup Final since 1970. They were swept by the Bruins that year and are still seeking their first finals win (0-12) despite three trips.

"It's one of those things," Blues forward Brayden Schenn said. "You're going to bed or you're around the house and you're thinking about it. It comes to the point you just want to get the games going already. Get in the heat of the series."

St. Louis is perceived as the underdog in the series despite an impressive turnaround. The Blues came back from the worst record in the NHL in early January to make it this far and have no intentions of another early exit.

"We're going to have a chance at this," St. Louis center Ryan O'Reilly said. "It's amazing how a season, the ups and downs of it, there are so many highs and lows, and to be able to stay even-keeled and keep working at it. It's crazy to see how it pays off."

As a benefit of the layoff, both teams could see key players return for Game 1. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara played in the scrimmage and should be a go after missing the series finale against the Hurricanes with an undisclosed injury. Meanwhile, forward David Krejci returned to practice Sunday after missing time with an illness.

For the Blues, defenseman Vince Dunn (upper body) skated Saturday and will make the trip to Boston. Dunn has been sidelined since he took a puck to the face in Game 3 against the Sharks.

While Rask has been lights-out for the Bruins, the Blues continue to hitch their wagon to breakout rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington (2.36 GAA, .914 save percentage in playoffs). Jaden Schwartz, whose 12 playoff goals surpass the 11 he scored in the regular season, leads the team in scoring with 16 points.

The Bruins, playing in the finals for the third time this decade and seeking their second championship in that span, have been led offensively by a lethal power play that is converting at 34 percent (17 of 50). Brad Marchand has set the pace with 18 points.

-Field Level Media

Updated May 26, 2019

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