Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Bruins force Game 7 with 5-1 victory over the Blues

AP, ST LOUIS, Missouri

Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, right, reaches for a rebound in front of St Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in St Louis, Missouri, on Sunday.

Photo: AP

Facing elimination in an oh-so-hostile environment, Tuukka Rask and Brad Marchand stepped up for the Boston Bruins once again.

The Stanley Cup Final is heading to Game 7 because two of Boston’s biggest stars love the biggest moments.

Rask on Sunday made 28 saves, while Marchand had a goal and an assist as the Bruins beat the St Louis Blues 5-1 to even the bruising, physical series at 3-3.

David Pastrnak had one of Boston’s four goals in the third period and an assist, helping the Bruins force the 17th Game 7 in Stanley Cup Final history.

Brandon Carlo, Karson Kuhlman and Zdeno Chara also scored.

“We’re fighting for our lives, obviously,” Marchand said. “When you play desperate, I think you see everyone’s best game.”

Boston were also involved in the last Game 7, winning the championship in Vancouver in 2011. Rask was a reserve goaltender on that team eight years ago, while Marchand was a key performer.

They will go for another championship tomorrow in Boston after losing to Chicago in the 2013 final.

“The whole hockey world loves a Game 7, so it should be a great night in Boston and may the best team win,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.

Ryan O’Reilly scored in the third period for St Louis, who are looking for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title in their 51st season.

Rookie Jordan Binnington finished with 27 stops.

“We have to move on, get ready for the next one,” O’Reilly said. “We’re confident. We’re a great road team. Maybe that’s our story. Maybe we have to get it done on the road.”

Backed by an electric Enterprise Center crowd, St Louis looked a step off for most of the game. Prime scoring opportunities were derailed by misplaced passes or ever-so-slight timing issues.

Of course, the unflappable Rask can have that effect on a team and whenever the Blues threatened, the Finnish star was there.

“He’s our best player,” Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy said. “He just steps up when it matters and we have all the faith in the world in him... He’s our rock.”

Rask was at his best while Boston killed off four power plays, dropping St Louis to one of 18 with the man advantage for the series.

“We weathered the storm pretty good,” Rask said.

Despite the loss, the Blues are still confident heading to Game 7.

“Listen, if you told me four months ago we were going to be in the Finals in Game 7, I think I’d take it,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We’ve been a good road team. We’ve won twice up there in this series, so we’re a confident group.”

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