ST. LOUIS — Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 7-2 victory over the Blues in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, with BSJ insight and analysis:
Bruins gave St. Louis a taste of its own medicine: Just a couple days removed from getting socked in the mouth by a relentless Blues forecheck, the Bruins evened the score at Enterprise Center, surviving an initial surge before suffocating St. Louis as part of a three-goal barrage in the opening period.
As you can see below, the Blues didn’t get much of anything going in the slot or other Grade-A areas in the first, a testament to a re-engaged defensive effort that limited the Blues from initiating any cycles in Boston’s zone.
A commitment from Boston’s forwards to absorb hits along the wall, win puck battles and chips puck ahead before the big bodies on St. Louis could square them up often had Boston countering down the other end of the ice in short order.
With Boston freed up and able to operate in Blues’ zone, Jordan Binnington was unable to stop a flurry that saw Boston tally three goals over the span of 3:01 of ice time — with three of Boston’s four forward lines opening the scoring in the first period of play. In total, 12 different Bruins players finished with at least a point on the night — with Noel Acciari and Marcus Johansson adding goals in the final minutes of play.
By the time a snipe from Torey Krug snapped past Binnington’s glove at 12:12 in the second period — Boston’s third power-play goal of the night — Craig Berube had had enough, pulling his starting goalie in favor of Jake Allen and waiving the white flag on an anticipated matchup on home ice.
For those keeping track, the winner of Game 3 when a Stanley Cup Final is tied, 1-1, has gone on to win the whole thing 79% of the time since the series went to the best-of-seven format in 1939 (22-of-28 series).
Boston is dominating the Blues at special teams: For as imposing as the Blues’ forecheck and overall physicality was in Game 2, one fault has remained consistent throughout three games now — as the Blues have some major mismatch issues on special teams.
Even with Boston tagged with 16 penalty minutes — including eight over the final period of play — the Blues were only able to strike once on five chances on the power play, and have now only cashed in on one of their 10 bids this entire series.
While the Blues labored on the power play, Boston went 4-for-4 on the night with its own power play — scoring four goals on just four shots and are now 6-for-14 in the series. On the other end, a power-play goal from Colton Parayko snapped a streak that saw Boston eliminate 19 straight opposing power plays.
If the Blues can’t start tilting the ice back in its favor on special teams, this series could be wrapping up soon.