In some ways, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final was a summary of the St. Louis Blues' season. It didn’t start out pretty for the Blues. Boston came into this game strong, controlling the play. The Blues got a shot on goal in the first minute of the contest and then for the vast majority of the period, they couldn’t get the puck to the net again. The play seemed to always be in the Blues’ zone with just brief and ultimately futile forays into the Bruins’ side.
And yet, the Blues hung in there. Jordan Binnington held the fort and then late in the first period, it was the St. Louis Blues who broke through. The shots were 12-4 in favor of Boston after 20 minutes, but the score was 2-0 Blues.
Boston continued to press in the second, but Binnington stayed strong. It wasn’t until 17:50 of the third period that they finally beat them and by then it only reduced St. Louis’ lead to 4-1. It’s also appropriate that Binnington played such a huge role in their Game 7 victory given that he was such a major factor in the Blues’ turning the tide from a last place squad into a serious contender.
Binnington wasn’t the only contributor, but he was the missing piece of the puzzle that helped transform St. Louis from a squad with promise but not results into the squad that delivered St. Louis’ first ever Stanley Cup championship in their 52nd year of existence.
ST. LOUIS 4 BOSTON 1 (Blues win championship 4-3)
Ryan O'Reilly won the Conn Smythe Trophy. He was the one who broke through last night with the opening goal at 16:47 of the first period. He found the back of the net in each of the final four games of the Stanley Cup Final, bringing him up to eight goals and 23 points in 26 contests in the 2019 playoffs.
Alex Pietrangelo also scored a goal and registered an assist for the Blues. He had three goals and 19 points in 26 contests.
Brayden Schenn found the back of the net at 11:25 of the third period to extend the Blues’ lead to 3-0. It was his fifth goal and 12th point in 26 games.
Zach Sanford rounded out St. Louis’ scoring. He had a goal and four points in eight playoff games.
The lone Bruins goal was scored by Matt Grzelcyk. He had four goals and eight points in 20 contests.
Tuukka Rask stopped 16 of 20 shots last night. He still finished the postseason with an amazing 2.02 GAA and .934 save percentage in 24 starts.
At the other end of the ice, Jordan Binnington saved 32 of 33 shots. The rookie goaltender posted a 2.46 GAA and .914 save percentage in 26 starts.