BOSTON — Torey Krug flew down the ice with his helmet off, like his big, bad predecessors on the Boston defense from the years of Eddie Shore and police officer Orr.
He lined up St. Louis center Robert Thomas and knocked him off his skates, delighting the crowd and causation an unmistakable message to rest of the Blues: The Bruins had woken up from their 11-day closure, and they were ready to fight for the Stanley Cup.
“I think it gave our team energy, and that’s all you’re trying to do out there,” Krug aforementioned after Boston rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat St. Louis 4-2 in Game 1 on Monday night. “Hopefully it gave the guys a boost on the bench.”
Sean Kuraly scored to break a third-period tie and assisted on some other goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped-up 18 shots to help the Bruins complete their comeback from a two-goal deficit. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night.
Forty-nine years after police officer Orr flew through the air to beat the Blues for the 1970 NHL title, the Bruins got goals from defensemen Connor Clifton and Charlie McAvoy.
Brad Marchand added an empty netter with about three proceedings left, but the unofficial clincher came when Krug got up off the ice after losing his helmet in a tussle with David Perron in front of the Boston net.
“You know, you don’t want to mess with that guy,” Clifton aforementioned. “Don’t make that guy mad.”
Jordan Binnington made 34 saves for the Blues, who haven’t been back to the final since getting sweptback by Boston in 1970. But it was Boston which was troubled with a long closure — at least early on.
Idle since May 16, when they completed their sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins spotted St. Louis a two-goal lead before snapping out of their slumber.
Brayden Schenn made it 1-0 lead midway through the first period on a third-chance shot. In the first minute of the second, David Pastrnak got sloppy behind the Bruins’ net and Schenn was there once once again, this time to pass it to Vladimir Tarasenko in the slot to make it 2-0.
“I think we can be even better, and we have to be,” Perron aforementioned.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy admitted that the long closure since the Eastern Conference finals may have left his team rusty.
“The time off, you don’t have your edge yet to battle,” he aforementioned. “We weren’t too happy with the way the game was going. We weren’t playing our game. We weren’t playing to our standard. And I think after the second goal, that kind of woke us up.”
The Bruins went on to outshoot the Blues 18-3 in the second period, finishing the game with a 38-20 edge.
“I was pretty much a spectator after that,” Rask aforementioned.
Just 76 seconds after Tarasenko’s goal, Clifton tipped in a pass from Kuraly to cut the deficit to one. 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.
It was still tied five proceedings into the third when Christmas Acciari, on Binnington’s left, made a spin move and sweptback the puck crosswise the crease to Kuraly. He steady it with his skate and then poked it in with his stick to give the Bruins their first lead of the game.
“In the second period we stopped-up sport, turned it over and gave them momentum,” Blues coach Craig Berube aforementioned. “I thought they were the better team after that.”
Notes: Zdeno Chara had a cut on his left arm where he was hit by Tarasenko’s shot. He aforementioned it required a few stitches but was not a big deal. … Lil Nas X and Chase Rice, who performed a concert in City Hall Plaza before the game, were in attendance. They some got big cheers when shown on the video board, and the crowd erupted when Rice chugged a brew. … Members of the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup championship team took part in pregame banner ceremonies. Five players on the current roll were on that team: Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Chara. … The Blues scored the first goal for the fourteenth time in 20 pclosure games. They had been 10-3 when marking first, and 6-1 when leading after the first period. … Blues D Vince Dunn lost his fourth straight game with an mere injury. … Binnington stopped-up 83 of the previous 85 shots he faced through one period, geologic geological dating back to Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
- Bettman says NHL will consider expanding video review
- Chambers: The Stanley Cup might cometh to Colorado this summer — just not for the Avalanche
- The Blues are back in the Stanley Cup Final after nearly 50 years of weird
- Patrick Roy interviews for Ottawa Senators head coaching job job job, report says
- Blues beat Sharks, march on to Stanley Cup Final
The Bruins would be halfway to their seventh NHL title with triumph on Wednesday night at home. It would be their first since 2011. They lost to Chicago in the 2013 final.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports