The Boston Bruins domination culminated with grinder Sean Kuraly and the eruption of the Boston crowd. After the St. Louis Blues earned a 1-0 lead in the first period, the Bruins punished St. Louis, suffocated them and finally cracked them five minutes into the third period. Kuraly (3) fought off his defender in front of the net and buried a rebound chance. The Bruins flexed their muscle despite an 11-day layoff and won Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, 4-2 at TD Garden Monday night.
The Bruins unleashed a frantic 40 minutes after St. Louis earned the two-goal lead just one minute into the second period. Brayden Schenn forced a turnover behind the Bruins net and zipped a pass to sharpshooter Vlad Tarasenko who hushed the Boston crowd. Tarasenko (9) was uncovered in the slot and picked a wrist shot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. It was seemingly the last mistake the Bruins made.
Just over a minute after Tarasenko’s marker, the Bruins charge began. Defenseman Connor Clifton (2) scored another big goal when sneaked behind the St. Louis defenders and deflected a pass from Kuraly. The Bruins borrowed some of the much talked about St. Louis resilience and suffocated St. Louis for the remainder of the game.
Midway through the second period, defenseman Charlie McAvoy tied the game via the Bruins first power play tally of the series. After St. Louis cleared a mad scramble in front of unflappable goalie Jordan Binnington, McAvoy (3) raced back into the zone and snapped a long-range wrister past Binnington.
The Bruins outshot St. Louis 18-3 in the second period and 30-12 over the last two periods as “We want the Cup” chants rained down from the Boston faithful.
St. Louis scored first, just seven minutes into the game. Jaden Schwartz set up Brayden Schenn (3) who wired a wrister past Rask. Schenn has struggled in the playoffs and scored on each of two consecutive shots including Game 6 against San Jose. Previously, Schenn scored just once on 37 shots.
Schenn also led all players with six shots on goal. Tory Krug, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak had four shots for the Bruins.
Marchand (8) scored the empty netter to bring the Bruins three wins from the Stanley Cup.
Rask stopped 18 of 20 shots. Binnington looked mortal under the intense Boston pressure. The St. Louis first-year goalie stopped 34 of 37 shots and at times appeared to be hanging on for dear life. Binnington lost his stick multiple times as he poked at Bruins forwards or sprawled across the crease.
The Bruins lead the Stanley Cup Final one game to none.