Blues bounce back to level series
After a heavy defeat in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Finals, the St Louis Blues fought back in Game Four on Monday to level the series at 2-2 with a battling 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins, who went into the series as favourites with sports betting companies, appeared to have taken a decisive advantage with a 7-2 win on the weekend in the first Stanley Cup game played in St Louis since 1970. However, the Blues have been tough opponents throughout the NHL playoffs, and they showed their resilience once again in Game Four to delight the home crowd at the Enterprise Center.
Ryan O’Reilly was the goal-scoring hero. He scored twice, including the decisive game-winner in the final period, to give the Blues their first-ever home victory in the Stanley Cup. Vladimir Tarasenko also scored, while Brayden Schenn contributed a goal and an assist and goaltender Jordan Binnington bounced back from conceding five goals in Game Three to make 21 saves on the night. Charlie Coyle and Brandon Carlo got the goals for the Bruins, while Tuukka Rask had 34 saves.
O’Reilly also opened the scoring on the night at just 43 seconds into the game on a wraparound to end a personal goal drought that extended back to the first game of the Western Conference Finals on 11 May. Boston fought back hard and levelled the game at 13:14 in the first period through Coyle, who extended his goal-scoring streak to three games, but the Blues weren’t behind for long, as Tarasenko fired in their second just over two minutes later. It was then the Bruins’ turn to level the game, as Carlo scored a short-handed goal at 14:19 in the second period to become the 20th Boston player to have scored during the 2018-19 playoffs.
However, the O’Reilly settled the game with his strike at 10:38 in the third period, just under two minutes after St Louis had successfully killed a penalty awarded against defenseman Jay Bouwmeester for a high-stick challenge on Coyle. Alex Pietrangelo spotted that the Bruins had been slow with a line change and fired in a high shot from the right face-off circle. The rebound fell into the slot, and O’Reilly was able to slot it home, having gained a position on the incoming Charlie McAvoy. Schenn then added his name to the scoresheet with an empty-net goal near the end to make it 4-2.
Words: Stijn Janssen