The Blues didn’t just even out the play (and the 2019 Stanley Cup Final) by winning Game 2 against the Bruins. They really dominated long stretches of Wednesday’s contest, and their efforts were ultimately rewarded with a 3-2 overtime win.
This 1-1 series shifts to St. Louis for Game 3, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN on Saturday (stream here).
After seeing his shot disappointingly registered a loud ping off the post during the third period, Carl Gunnarsson was rewarded with the overtime game-winner. It came during a delayed penalty, as the Blues absolutely ran roughshod over the Bruins during OT, forcing multiple turnovers in Boston’s zone, and generating all four of that brief OT period’s shots on goal.
The Blues answered a ton of questions in a big way in Game 2, ending Boston’s eight-game playoff winning streak in the process.
Early on, it looked like Game 2 would be a high-scoring affair. All four of the regulation goals were scored within the first 15 minutes of the first period, with the Bruins building 1-0 and 2-1 leads only for the Blues to tie things up.
While Boston carried over some control from Game 1 during the opening moments, the Blues eventually turned the contest on its head in a big way. Heading into overtime, the Blues generated a 33-23 shots on goal advantage, forcing Tuukka Rask to make plenty of tough saves to keep things tied heading into overtime.
Sometimes, in a Stanley Cup Final, you’ll see two unfamiliar foes start off a series seeming a bit shy. Game 1 was pretty physical between St. Louis and Boston, and things got downright nasty in Game 2, and not just during the Oskar Sundqvist hit that hurt Matt Grzelcyk. The hard-hitting nature of these bouts should be something to watch, particularly when it results in Blues players storming Rask’s crease, and sometimes making significant contact with the red-hot goalie.
[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
Both the Bruins and Blues squandered key power-play opportunities in Game 2.
For St. Louis, its best regulation opportunity came late in the second period, as Tyler Bozak drew a high-sticking double-minor on Connor Clifton. The Blues couldn’t convert, and in fact took a penalty during the flow of that chance. Meanwhile, the Bruins’ power play cooled off after scoring on its first chance in Game 2, with a failed PP in the final minutes of the third period serving as a considerable disappointment. Each team will need to hit the tape to take better advantage of power-play chances as this series moves along.
Then again, Gunnarsson scored the OT winner on a delayed penalty, so the Blues probably feel OK about things.
If these first two games are any indication, this could be a classic championship round, and one that forces a lot of players to go through a lot of ice packs.
Blues-Bruins Game 3 is Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET from Enterprise Center on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.