Shipping up To Boston:Game 5 Preview:
We’re shipping up to Boston for game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Both teams are looking to come within one win of hoisting Lord Stanley. Game 4 went to the St. Louis Blues as they were able to take down the Boston Bruins 4-2. Now with the momentum on their side and a injured Bruins team, the Blues will look to capitalize on what will be an important game 5.
Boston will be looking to bounce back from a game 4 loss in front of their hometown fans. Zdeno Chara who went down with a face injury after taking a puck to the face will be a game time decision. He was out for morning skate wearing a protective shield around his jaw area. Matt Grzelcyk who was hit from behind by Oskar Sundqvist a few games back is also a game time decision. If neither of them can go it’ll be a tough task for the Bruins to overcome missing two of their top defenseman.
The powerplay had been a big strength for the Bruins in the first 3 games. In game 4 though, it wasn’t as successful. They had some chances at key moments in the game but, were unable to capitalize. If they want to win game 5 they will need to be better on the powerplay and make the Blues pay for playing undisciplined.
David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron will need to step up for the Bruins as they were not much of a factor in game 4. While Marchand and Bergeron did have an assist they will need to produce more for Boston to come out with a win. I expect them to come out from the start with high energy. Pastrnak has only 2 points in this series and has not played as well as he should be. If he can’t figure it out Boston could be in trouble.
Ryan O’Reilly was a major factor in game 4, putting up 2 goals including the game winner. His strong play all series will need to continue in game 5 as he’s been a lead by example type player all postseason. His physical play hasn’t gone unnoticed either as he has not been afraid to throw his weight around.
The 4th line of the Blues has been a pleasant surprise for them these playoffs. A combination of speed, skill, and physical play have led to their success. Oskar Sundqvist, Alex Steen, and Ivan Barbashev have made their presence felt all series. You could tell in the game where Sundqvist was suspended they didn’t look the same. These three feed off a each other and will be a big part in the outcome of game 5.
In his return to the lineup Blues defenseman Vince Dunn made an immediate impact in game 4. While he only played about 13 minutes, when he was out there things were going well for the Blues. He’s a huge help for them on the backend as he even picked up an assist. Expect for him to play more minutes and have even more of an impact in game 5.
My prediction for the game is the Bruins bounce back and come within one game of winning the Stanley Cup. Final score will be 4-1 Bruins.
Tune in tonight at 8pm EST on NBC.