Blues draw level with Bruins in Stanley Cup Final
The St Louis Blues finally got a Stanley Cup Final win, edging the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 2 on Wednesday.
St Louis allowed the first goal of the game in the opening minutes of the first period but fought back to tie it up immediately and went on to top the Bruins in overtime.
The Blues were 0-13 in Stanley Cup Final games coming into their matchup with Boston on Wednesday and are now tied 1-1 in the series heading back to St Louis.
Here are three takeaways from the Blues' first victory in a Stanley Cup Final.
Speed kills, but so does physicality
San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer made a great observation after his squad lost to the Blues in the Western Conference Finals.
"I think the two hardest, heaviest teams are in the final," DeBoer said. "Everybody talks about skill and speed and there's room for small players, but I don't think it's an accident. There's no space. They're heavy. They're hard. They're organised.”
He has been proven right in this series as the Blues and Bruins are absolutely demolishing each other on the ice. Robert Thomas was knocked out of Game 1, Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2 and there were plenty of players coming up with little ailments throughout the game.
These teams have speed, but they are playing a physical, intense brand of hockey right now, and the value of that cannot be lost. Fast skating and quickness may be all the rage right now in the NHL but these two teams are showing just how good a physical game can be.
Bruins score again on the power play
The Blues knew they could not let the Bruins get on the power play early in Game 2 as Boston have been great with a man advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs and scored again with it in Game 1 on Monday.
Yet, St Louis put the Bruins on the power play almost immediately to start the game on Wednesday. And what did the Bruins do? They scored, of course, as Charlie Coyle put one five-hole on Jordan Binnington to give Boston a 1-0 lead.
That play was huge as it set the tone for a high-octane first period which would yield four goals in total and a 2-2 tie after the first 20 minutes. Boston have now scored a power-play goal in six straight games and even if St Louis did shore up their special teams defense down the stretch in Game 2, they need to make sure to be stingier in Game 3 and come out ready to make a stop when they get a man down.
The overtime period was all about the Blues.
They kept the puck in the offensive zone for seemingly the entire four minutes of the overtime period and ultimately won the game on a Carl Gunnarsson shot.
It was a surprise they did not score sooner as they were all over Tuukka Rask the entire time.
And it also led to an odd stat for the Bruins. In Boston's Stanley Cup playoff history, the team are now 4-13-2 in overtime. St Louis were 0-3-0 before Wednesday.