BRU­INS SEND STAN­LEY CUP FI­NALS TO GAME 7

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Curtis Zupke

ST. LOUIS — A deep, thun­der­ous cheer greeted the St. Louis Blues just be­fore they took the ice for the third pe­riod.

It didn’t mat­ter that they trailed by a goal. Surely they could erase that and march on to his­tory with their first Stan­ley Cup.

But 2:31 into the pe­riod, Bos­ton Bru­ins de­fense­man Bran­don Carlo sent a soft shot from roughly 60 feet away that skipped past Blues goalie Jor­dan Bin­ning­ton, and the arena fell silent.

Bos­ton didn’t just turn down the vol­ume on the Blues in Game 6 of the Fi­nal on Sun­day. Be­hind goalie Tuukka Rask and a mo­ti­va­tional push from Pa­trice Berg­eron, it turned town the vol­ume on an en­tire city with a clutch 5-1 win at En­ter­prise Cen­ter to force Game 7 on Wed­nes­day.

The Bru­ins stared down St. Louis in a height­ened sit­u­a­tion with 28 saves by Rask and goals by Carlo, Brad Marc­hand, Kar­son Kuhlman, David Pas­tr­nak and Zdeno Chara. Berg­eron, the face of the team, ap­par­ently ad­dressed his team­mates be­fore­hand about stay­ing alive.

“It was ex­actly what we needed,” Char­lie McAvoy said. “It was an el­e­ment of what the dream is. Grow­ing up, every one of us shares the same dream and kind of just bring­ing us all to a point where we can all be on the same field.

“We were all a lit­tle kid once and we all wanted this bad. And I think it was just an el­e­ment of sa­vor­ing this mo­ment and not let­ting it end tonight. It was ex­actly what we needed.”

Berg­eron’s lead­er­ship was rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a tested Bos­ton team that has been through many of these sce­nar­ios. Sun­day was as chal­leng­ing as it gets, though, with the op­pos­ing city on the verge of erup­tion. The watch party at nearby Mar­ket Street was filled to ca­pac­ity and the build­ing was packed for pregame warmups.

Then Bos­ton played ex­actly the road game it needed, thanks in big part to Rask as he states his case for the Conn Smythe Tro­phy.

“I think he’s been do­ing this the whole play­off run,” Berg­eron said. “But tonight he was def­i­nitely on and made some tremen­dous saves and kept us in the game for a while.”

Rask was set to be­come the fourth goalie in NHL his­tory to post a shutout when play­ing an elim­i­na­tion game in the Fi­nal be­fore Ryan O’Reilly broke the bid. O’Reilly got the puck on the left side and fired the puck, but play kept go­ing be­fore re­plays showed the puck crossed the line with al­most eight min­utes to go in reg­u­la­tion to make the score 3-1.

But Pas­tr­nak scored with 5:54 re­main­ing when Sean Ku­raly won a puck be­hind the Blues’ net, and Chara scored on an empty net.

St. Louis was pre­sented with gen­er­ous op­por­tu­nity in the sec­ond pe­riod with two power plays, but it fell to 0 for 17 in the series.

Its’ best chance was on Marc­hand’s trip­ping penalty. Alex Pi­etrangelo sent a back­han­der on net that bounced off the post, went off Rask’s back and was bat­ted away by McAvoy.

“[McAvoy] hit it with his stick and I kind of heard it, and I didn’t know where it was and I fig­ured it might be some­where be­hind me, so I just tried to cor­ral it with my hand, be­hind my back and it stuck in my pants and fell some­where,” Rask said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.