Stanley Cup Final: Bruins defeat Blues to force Game 7

Curtis Zupke, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Hockey

ST. LOUIS -- A deep, thunderous cheer greeted the St. Louis Blues just before they took the ice for the third period.

It didn't matter that they trailed by a goal. Surely they could erase that and march on to history with their first Stanley Cup.

But 2:31 into the period, Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo sent a soft shot from roughly 60 feet away that skipped past Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, and the arena fell silent.

Boston didn't just turn down the volume on the Blues in Game 6 of the Final on Sunday. Behind goalie Tuukka Rask and a motivational push from Patrice Bergeron, it turned town the volume on an entire city with a clutch 5-1 win at Enterprise Center to force Game 7 on Wednesday.

The Bruins stared down St. Louis in a heightened situation with 28 saves by Rask and goals by Carlo, Brad Marchand, Karson Kuhlman, David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara. Bergeron, the face of the team, apparently addressed his teammates beforehand about staying alive.

"It was exactly what we needed," Charlie McAvoy said. "It was an element of what the dream is. Growing up, every one of us shares the same dream and kind of just bringing us all to a point where we can all be on the same field.


"We were all a little kid once and we all wanted this bad. And I think it was just an element of savoring this moment and not letting it end tonight. It was exactly what we needed."

Bergeron's leadership was representative of a tested Boston team that has been through many of these scenarios. Sunday have been as challenging as it gets, though, with the opposing city on the verge of eruption. The watch party at nearby Market Street was filled to capacity and the building was packed for pregame warmups.

Then Boston played exactly the road game it needed, thanks in big part to Rask as he states his case for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

"I think he's been doing this the whole playoff run," Bergeron said. "But tonight he was definitely on and made some tremendous saves and kept us in the game for a while."


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