Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was held in Boston, and as expected, the Bruins started off slow and looked rusty after the long layoff. Boston had very little time in the offensive zone during the first period as the Blues’ defense proved to be too much to handle. Despite the limited time with the puck, the Bruins had several chances to score, but all came up short thanks to Blues tough goaltender Jordan Binnington.
The Blues controlled the first period, leading 1-0 at the first intermission. Another mistake by the Bruins led to a Blues goal early in the second period, giving St. Louis a 2-0 lead.
This is when the momentum of the game completely changed. The Bruins knocked the rust off and got to work. In the second period, the Bruins outshot the Blues 18-3. The Blues were never able to get their offense going until a last-minute surge with the goalie pulled that fell short and allowed the Bruins to close out the game with a 4-2 win.
The Boston Bruins’ come-from-behind victory was the first multi-goal comeback in the Stanley Cup Final since 2014. The Bruins’ goal for the rest of the series will be to match their energy from the last two periods, while the Blues will look to slow down the tempo of the game and use their size as an advantage.
The St. Louis Blues’ success all seemed to come from the same line. Schenn, Tarasenko, Schwartz, and Bouwmeester combined for all five of the Blues’ points that came in the first two periods.
The big defense of the Blues proved to be a problem early in the game but faded away when the Bruins made adjustments. The Blues will need to use their defense to their advantage moving forward if they want to slow down the Boston attack.
The Boston Bruins’ success, on the other hand, came again from their lower lines, as it has most of the playoffs. Fourth-liner Sean Kuraly scored the Bruins’ go-ahead third goal five minutes into the third period. While the Blues have a strong defense on the top lines, the Bruins’ depth is once again paying dividends in tight games.
Another player who started rusty but got back to top form was Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask. Rask gave up two goals early, both from Boston turnovers. The Boston goalie only faced a total of 20 shots but did what he needed to finish out the game for the Bruins, including holding off a final surge by the Blues at the end.
What to expect
Everything moving forward will depend on what teams decide to show up. In the first period, the Blues were controlling the whole game, and the Bruins’ offense was nonexistent. From the second period on, everything was the complete opposite. The Bruins have to keep their feet moving and their energy on full blast if they hope to shut the Blues down. The Blues have to keep their guys out of the penalty box in key situations to limit the Bruins’ scoring chances and keep from having to play defense the whole game.
With everything we saw to close out Game 1, it seems that the Bruins will cruise into Game 2 with confidence. The Bruins will be in Boston again for the second game of the series, and look for them to get another win and head to St. Louis with a two-game lead in the series.
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