After Jordan Binnington stole Game 5 for the Blues, Tuukka Rask did the same for the Bruins in Game 6. With that, hockey fans get the ultimate treat: the 2019 Stanley Cup Final is going to Game 7 (8 p.m. ET on NBC on Wednesday; stream here).
If you look at the final score (Bruins won 5-1), you’d probably assume that Boston dominated with its season on the line. Instead, the Blues put forth a pretty stellar effort, at least when Game 6 was still in question.
Tuukka Rask needed to be brilliant, particularly through the first 40 minutes, as the Blues dominated puck possession in Boston’s zone. Despite the disparity in play, Brad Marchand‘s 1-0 tally on a 5-on-3 power play was the only goal of the first two periods.
Binnington really wasn’t awful, for the most part, in Game 6. Instead, the Bruins were able to make some great plays and great shots, with Karson Kuhlman‘s milestone goal being an example of just fantastic puck placement. That said, the margin of error is tiny at this level, and Brandon Carlo‘s goal will haunt Binnington, and not just because it would eventually count as the game-winner:
Rask allowed one goal by red-hot Ryan O'Reilly, and even then, it barely beat the fantastic Finn. That tally shrunk the Bruins’ lead to 3-1, but David Pastrnak‘s high-skill goal made it 4-1, sapping any strength from a Blues comeback bid. Meanwhile, the fifth goal of the game was an empty-netter, and Zdeno Chara did the honors.
Blues fans chanted “We Want the Cup” during the waning seconds of Game 6, and you can understand why fans aren’t just faking some optimism. After all, this Blues team has earned the moniker of “road warriors” with the way they’ve been able to win so many tough, big games away from St. Louis.
They’ve never experienced a Game 7 for all the marbles, though.
Quite a few key Bruins have been there, winning in 2011, although that was in front of an explosively angry Vancouver crowd. You’ll surely hear about the experience edge as Wednesday’s Game 7 approaches, yet if the Blues bring this kind of effort again, it will be anyone’s Game 7.
St. Louis might need Binnington to match Rask to finally win that first-ever Stanley Cup, though.
Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday (stream here).