The Boston Bruins needed a period-plus to shed the rust from a 10-day layoff. Besides his game-winning goal (and assist) in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Kuraly scored the game victor at the Winter Classic, as well as game winners in Game 7 versus the Leafs in the first round and in Game 4 versus the Blue Jackets in the second round, the team for which he grew up cheering.
The Blues did well to capitalize on the Bruins' sloppy play early in Game 1, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after Vladimir Tarasenko's goal one minute into the second period. After one game, the B's have the edge in the Stanley Cup Final, following their 4-2 victory. The veteran netminder's.956 save percentage, 1.38 goals against average and two shutouts over the Bruins' past eight games prove he's playing some of the best hockey of his life.
"It was a good changing point", Clifton said. And in the middle of the second, on the Bruins' fourth power play of the game, McAvoy came right up the middle and wristed it past Binnington's glove to tie it. "They're good off the rush, they got mobile defensemen and they made the most of it". "They possess pucks. They can skate". "That's my puck there".
"They always answer the bell", Krug says. "It was sluggish in the first. We've got to be more disciplined". They just decided that they weren't going to let the Blues win. "When our pace is like that, it's tough for a team to hang with us". Their response after Clifton's goal wasn't good. He wanted to see the St. Louis Blues top line given a rougher ride, at minimum, and started sending Kuraly's unit out against Schenn, Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz. "We didn't make it very hard on him tonight". They get on you.
Binnington was under siege as the Bruins outshot the Blues 30-12 in the final two periods.
Boston, which entered leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the power play (34.0 percent), was 1-for-5 on the man-advantage. And that's why we won the game. And St. Louis couldn't have asked for a better start. They took the Blues' forecheck out of the game. "We know what our job is when we're out against a line like that", Kuraly says. "We'll regroup and prepare for the next game". We just started getting too spread out, we weren't getting pucks in, turning the puck over.
"When that first goal went in, they got some momentum and they had a big push there". "We're going to have to be".
"I thought we broke pucks out better as the game went along", Cassidy noted.
"We know how to play winning hockey when we need to and limit teams' chances", Cassidy noted, "and that's a credit to the veteran guys in the room".
Sean Kuraly scored to break a third-period tie and assisted on another goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 18 shots to help the Bruins complete their comeback from a two-goal deficit. Depth and some good luck with health got these teams here, and both will be tested in a bruising, stick-snapping, helmetless-hitting series.
It was a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins last season when the rookie fourth-line centre was tasked with an unexpected assignment: No. 87.
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