Blues Strike Early, Even Stanley Cup Final at 2-2
43 Seconds...that's all it took for the hometown St.Louis Blues to get on the board and give them an early 1-0 lead. Ryan O'Reilly scored on a wraparound as Tuukka Rask wasn't quick enough to get back in position. The Blues started as the more physical of the two teams but the Bruins would not back down. With 6:46 left in the period Charlie Coyle scored for the third straight game and tied it at 1. Just two minutes later, Vladimir Tarasenko would score to put the Blues up 2-1. It would stay that way as we headed to the 2nd period.
A tight checking 2nd period saw the teams go back and forth the entire way. It also saw a scary moment where Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara took a puck to the face and would leave the game. With 11:29 left in the 2nd period the Blues would take their first penalty of the game. They would kill it off as they were determined to not let the Bruins powerplay burn them tonight. St.Louis used the momentum from the penalty kill to really put the pressure on the Bruins, getting a lot of chances which eventually lead to the Blues drawing a penalty and heading to a powerplay of their own. All of the work the Blues did ended up not helping them as Brandon Carlo would score shorthanded to tie the game at 2. It would stay that way as the 2nd period came to an end.
Period three started just like the second period as it was tight checking and physical. The Blues would get an early powerplay just three minutes into the period. While they had their fair share of chances they were unable to beat Rask and the game stayed tied at 2. Just when you think St.Louis has learned from their mistakes by not taking penalties they go right ahead and take a dumb penalty again. They also seem to do it at the worst times this one came with 13:18 left in the 3rd as Jay Bouwmeester got careless with his stick and hit Charlie Coyle up high. Luckily, St.Louis was able to kill it off and keep the game even at 2. Chara, who took the puck to the face in the 2nd period would return to the bench for Boston but he did not take a shift for the rest of the game. The Physical play would really pick up in the third, as both of these teams were fighting for every inch. With 9:22 left in the third Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo would skate down the wing, fire a slap shot on net that would bounce off Rask and right to Ryan O'Reilly, who would bury it giving the Blues a 3-2 lead. The Blues kept the pressure on as they didn't sit back and try and protect the one goal lead. They wanted to add more but Tuukka Rask stood tall and gave the Bruins a fighting chance. Rask would head to the bench for an extra attacker with under two minutes to play. With 1:29 left Brayden Schenn would force a turnover at center ice and shoot one down into the empty net giving the Blues a 4-2 lead. That would be all St.Louis needed as they won the game and have evened the series at 2-2.
The series shifts back to Boston for game 5 as both teams will look to get within one win of clinching the Stanley Cup.
Game 5 is Thursday Night at 8pm EST on NBC