Calling Gloria! Blues capture Stanley Cup with 4-1 win over Bruins
It took 52 years, but St. Louis finally hoists Lord Stanley
Ryan O’Reilly lit the lamp for the fourth straight game and Jordan Binnington made 32 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
It took the Blues franchise, which was almost ceded to Baltimore in 1967, 52 years to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. St. Louis hadn’t even been in the final round since 1970 when they represented the all-expansion team West Division for a third straight time.
After the Bruins absolutely dominated most of the first period, drawing a strong performance from the 25-year-old Binnington, O’Reilly deflected former Florida Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s shot between Tuukka Rask’s legs to open the scoring at the 16:47 mark.
The Blues added another with eight seconds left in the frame when Jaden Schwartz passed to himself to get deep into the Boston zone and then dropped the puck back to the onrushing Alex Pietrangelo, who solved Rask with a nifty forehand to backhand move.
Brad Marchand picked an inopportune time to go off for a change, leaving a void that Pietrangelo, who drew the secondary assist on O’Reilly’s goal, took advantage of.
Despite getting out-shot 11-6, after being on the wrong end of a 12-4 count in the first, in the second period, the Blues played much better and started to limit the amount of dangerous chances the Bruins were getting.
The middle frame’s closest call came midway through when Brayden Schenn redirected Jaden Schwartz’ centering pass off Rask’s stick blade and then off the cross bar. Zdeno Chara came up large by keeping the puck out after it hit Rask’s shoulder on it’s way down.
Not to worry, Schenn would get his 11:25 into the third period when he one-timed a Vladimir Tarasenko pass home to put the Blues up by three. Schwartz picked up the secondary assist for his second point of the night.
The goal came shortly after Binnington flat-out robbed Joakim Nordstrom with a sprawling right leg save.
Zach Sanford hammered the final nail into the coffin when he converted a tasty backhand dish from David Perron, who determinedly walked his way out of the left corner, with 4:38 remaining in regulation.
O’Reilly also drew an assist to extend his point streak to six games and tie Marchand with his 23rd point of the postseason.
The Bruins would pull Rask and break up Binnington’s shutout bid at 17:50 when Matt Grzelcyk beat him short-side from the left circle after a nice set up by David Krejci.
And that’s was it... The St. Louis Blues, who were 31st in the league in early January, are the 2018-19 Stanley Cup Champions after beating the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks and now the favored Bruins. Congratulations!!!!
More coverage at St. Louis Game Time and Stanley Cup of Chowder