2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

BSJ Game Report: Blues 4, Bruins 1 – St. Louis clamps down, top-6 negated again as B’s let Cup slip through their fingers

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-1 loss against the Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, with BSJ insight and analysis:

Box Score

TWO TAKEAWAYS

A disastrous first period...

Through the end of 20 minutes, the Bruins held an edge in:

Shot attempts: 22-8

Shots on goal: 12-4

High-danger scoring chances: 6-3

But things are rarely fair in hockey, and at the end of 20 minutes, the Bruins were mired in a two-goal hole — with a tip from Ryan O’Reilly and a shot from Alex Pietrangelo putting the Blues ahead going into the first intermission. It was a brutal break in favor of the Blues, with O’Reilly tipping home what was just St. Louis’ second SOG of the night at 16:47 in the period.

Things would only get worse with 7.9 seconds remaining in the period, as Brad Marchand inexplicably went for a change with the Blues in the midst of a counter-rush. Despite Boston’s efforts to recover on the fly, the odd-man rush ended with Pietrangelo snapping one past Rask to put the visitors up, 2-0. Just a disastrous ending to a period in which Boston generated a slew of quality looks against Jordan Binnington.  

… leads to a crushing night at TD Garden:

Buoyed by their two-goal lead, a stingy Blues club that’s arguably been the better club all series at 5v5 play absolutely smothered the Bruins. A stick tap to St. Louis for a masterful defensive effort all night. Whether it be pressuring at the point or closing off clean zone entries for the Bruins, Boston couldn’t generate close to anything all night — while a lethal power play was negated with just one penalty called all night long.

Still, for as dominant as players like Binnington and Pietrangelo were all night, a large amount of the onus has to fall on the Bruins themselves for a brutal, no-show performance on one of the biggest nights in franchise history. Unable to recover from the hole they dug for themselves, the Bruins couldn’t do much over the final 40 minutes of regulation — with Patrice Bergeron, Marchand, David Krejci and David Pastrnak limited to just one 5v5 goal in the seven-game series.

What a horrid conclusion to a season filled with so much promise. Now, the offseason — and some hard choices for Boston’s top brass — await.

THREE UP