Bruins blast Blues, take 2-1 lead in Stanley Cup Final


So much for the Boston Bruins’ top line slowing down.

After a tough Game 2, and a relatively slow start to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, the trio of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak factored heavily into Boston’s 7-2 Game 3 win, which gives the Bruins a 2-1 series lead.

[Power play awakens Bruins’ top line]

Bergeron set the tone with a power-play goal to open the Bruins’ scoring, while Pastrnak also found the net on the power play, essentially killing the drama of Game 3 by making it 4-0 after Sean Kuraly‘s 3-0 goal survived an offside review.

(To be honest, most of the Bruins factored heavily into this win, as Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle also gave the Blues all they could handle.)

While the Bruins’ bombastic power play flexed its muscle in Game 3, Jordan Binnington buckled under the pressure, which is not something you could often argue during his impressive run during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In particular, that Kuraly goal is one Binnington would really want back, though it wasn’t the only regrettable one of the five the rookie goalie allowed.


Binnington’s had his struggles before, mind you, to the point that he’s distinguished himself by bouncing back uncommonly well for a young goalie when he does have those off nights. Game 3 marks arguably the lowest point of Binnington’s run, to the point that we saw Jake Allen in net for the first time during this postseason.

One would assume that the Blues haven’t lost confidence in Binnington, nor has the rookie lost it all in himself, but he nonetheless faces his biggest challenge yet. Frankly, the Bruins are looking like an absolute buzzsaw right now, to the point that Binnington may strain merely to limit their scoring, rather than shutting Boston down completely.

Then again, the Bruins seemed to clearly outclass the Blues in Game 1, only for St. Louis to flip the script in Game 2. Both of these teams have been able to rebound from disappointments during their runs, and this Blues team famously recovered from ranking last in the league remarkably late in the regular season, so counting St. Louis out seems like a bad idea.

Also a bad idea: letting the Bruins get on the power play, and letting Boston’s top line really get rolling. That happened in Game 3, and it’s up to the Blues to make sure that this isn’t the story of the series. About the only silver lining for St. Louis is that they managed a late power-play goal to get their first such goal of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, but that was as close to a “garbage goal” as you’ll get this time of year. If the Blues can’t win the special teams battle, they at least need to make it close to even if they want to win their first-ever Stanley Cup.

[More on the one-sided special teams play in Game 3]

That task looked a lot tougher after Game 3 than it did until Game 2, so it’s up to St. Louis to put together a much better effort on Monday.

Game 4 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET on Monday (stream here).

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Rangers’ Kreider fractures foot vs. Flyers

Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers
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New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider suffered a fractured foot against the Philadelphia Flyers Friday.

The alternate captain blocked a shot from Philippe Myers with 7:40 remaining in the opening period. He played one more shift for 10 seconds before heading to the locker room. The Rangers have not provided a timeline for the injury.

New York signed Chris Kreider to a $45.5 million, seven-year extension prior to the trade deadline. The 28-year-old power forward has 24 goals and 21 assists in 63 games this season.

Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.

Robin Lehner to make Golden Knights debut; Mark Stone injured

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The Vegas Golden Knights have been one of the league’s hottest teams over the past month and will be looking to extend their current winning streak to eight games on Friday night when they host the Buffalo Sabres.

Coach Pete DeBoer had some significant lineup news ahead of the game on Friday afternoon, including a potentially significant injury.

First, is the news that big trade deadline acquisition Robin Lehner will be making his first start in goal for the team. The Golden Knights acquired Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks just ahead of the NHL trade deadline on Monday for a draft pick and a prospect. Lehner has been one of the league’s best goalies for the past two years and alongside Marc-Andre Fleury should give them one of the league’s best goaltending duos.

The far more serious news, though, was the announcement that forward Mark Stone will not play on Friday due to a lower-body injury.

DeBoer had no immediate information on how long Stone could be out, only to say that he is still being evaluated.

When asked if it could potentially be a long-term injury DeBoer said “There’s always fear. We don’t know, but we’ll see,” via

Stone is one of the league’s best all-around forwards and has not only been a point-per-game player for the past three seasons, he is also one of the best defensive forwards in the league. He finished the 2018-19 season as the top runner-up for the Selke Trophy, something that has become almost unheard of for a winger.

The Golden Knights enter Friday’s game in first place in the Pacific Division, four points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.

Related: Blackhawks trade Robin Lehner to Golden Knights

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.


Oilers’ Mike Green to miss 3-4 weeks with sprained MCL

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Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland was busy at the NHL trade deadline adding Mike Green, Andreas Athanasiou, and Tyler Ennis to his roster in an effort to improve its depth. But just two games later his team has already lost one of those new players to injury.

The Oilers announced on Friday that Green, acquired from the Detroit Red Wings for Kyle Brodziak and a draft pick, will be sidelined for the next 3-4 weeks due to an MCL sprain.

That is the way things seem to be going for the Oilers right now as injuries keep adding up throughout their roster.

Green joins an injury list that already includes the team’s top defenseman (Oscar Klefbom), as well as James Neal, Kailer Yamamoto, and Kris Russell.

Green played 19 minutes in the Oilers’ 3-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.

Athanasiou was also injured in that game, but is expected to play on Saturday when the Oilers host the Winnipeg Jets.

The Oilers enter the weekend in third place in the Pacific Division with 74 points, four points back of Vegas and only two points ahead of the non-playoff teams in the Western Conference.

Related: Red Wings send Mike Green to Oilers

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Report: Islanders will play all home games at Nassau Coliseum in 2020-21

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March 22 will be the final Islanders’ game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, according to Newsday.

Randi Marshall reports that New York governor Andrew Cuomo will announce on Saturday that the Islanders will play any home playoff games this season and all of their 2020-21 home schedule at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders are currently building a new arena by Belmont Park race track which is expected to be ready in time for the 2021-22 NHL season. The franchise played all of its home games at the Coliseum from 1972-2015 before moving to Brooklyn full-time in 2015. That lasted until 2018 when they split home games at both arenas, with Nassau Coliseum playing host to their Round 1 matchup against the Penguins and Barclays for their second round series against the Hurricanes.

While Barclays Center helped keep the Islanders in New York, it has not been the easiest arena to travel to for fans. The ability to get there via mass transit was a positive that the Coliseum doesn’t have. Yet when the Islanders returned back to Long Island last season, there was plenty nostalgia over the building that was home for the franchise’s glory days.

In September the Islanders broke ground on the new 19,000-seat arena by Belmont Park which is less than 10 miles from Nassau Coliseum.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.