Blues' Dunn out for Game 1 but Thomas to play

28 Mai, 2019, 13:06 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • St. Louis Blues Captain Alex Pietrangelo celebrates a goal scored in a game against the Dallas Stars in February

It was an otherwise ordinary regular season matchup in November 2017 when Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy made a decision to test how Kuraly, then a rookie still acclimating to his role as the team's fourth-line center, would handle the colossal task of marking none other than Sidney Crosby.

The result was a revelation.

They ran into a familiar problem: the Boston defense. "It was like, 'Alright, we have something here'".

The Boston Bruins overcame a sluggish start and erased a two-goal deficit to beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 and draw first blood in the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup Final on Monday. As long as he had the last change and the ability to dictate matchups, his top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak would play against the St. Louis Blues' red-hot line of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko. But the spotlight belonged to Kuraly, just nine weeks removed from hand surgery, and his 27-year-old workmanlike wingers, Noel Acciari and Joakim Nordstrom.

"They always answer the bell", Krug says. "They don't care who's playing across from them ..." We got more physical and we started moving our feet, moving the puck and we ended up spending more time in their end and didn't give them as much room.

Depth can define a postseason, or at least chart its end course. Teams that have won Game 1 in any best-of-7 series have a series record of 476-219 (.685). The edge here was supposedly given to St. Louis before the series, so risky had its bottom-six trios anchored by Tyler Bozak and Oskar Sundqvist been.

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They looked headed for their first game win in a Cup final after a solid first period but were undone by a combination of turnovers and undisciplined penalties.

Sean Kuraly scored to break a third-period tie and assisted on another goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 18 shots to help the Bruins complete their comeback from a two-goal deficit.

"You know, you don't want to mess with that guy", Clifton said. "It's to make it hard for them to create any offense ... We needed something good to happen, and it did". "But we're not going to let them beat us with something silly".

Boston, which entered leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the power play (34.0 percent), was 1-for-5 on the man-advantage. The Bruins wound up converting only once when defenseman Charlie McAvoy's snapshot clipped St. Louis captain Alex Pietrangelo's stick and zipped under goalie Jordan Binnington's glove, tying the game at two apiece. Even so, it was a tightrope walk upon which the Western Conference champions were bound to stumble.

Nearly 80 percent of teams that win Game 1 have gone on to win the Cup, but how Cassidy, Blues coach Craig Berube and their teams adjust will have a say in that. "It's too much. We've got to be better there".

This Memorial Day marked the shotgun start of the 80th best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final. In the previous 79 series, the team that captured Game 1 ultimately took home the trophy 61 times (77.2%).

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