A controversial goal from David Perron in the third period helped the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins, 2-1, in Game 5 to take a three games to two series lead. St. Louis is one game away from its first Stanley Cup title.
Goaltenders Up to Task in Scoreless First Period
The Bruins entered the game with a different look than normal, playing with 7 defenceman and 11 forwards. The most important aspect of the Bruins lineup however, is what stayed the same. Zdeno Chara returned to the lineup for Boston after taking a puck to the face in game 4.
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Chara wasted no time involving himself in the game, stepping into Brayden Schenn early in the first period. The hit set the tone in another rough period of hockey that has become the norm in this contentious series. In contrast to Game 4, a game where the Blues dominated the physical aspects of the game, the Bruins set the tone with punishing body checks. Boston outhit St. Louis 23-18 in the first period.
The real story of the first was the stellar goaltending of Tuukka Rask and Jordan Binnington. Rask had a light workload only facing eight shots but stopped multiple high-quality chances. He made a highlight reel sliding save on a cross-crease pass to Perron late in the first frame. The Bruins goalkeeper has been a stalwart in net for Boston all playoffs. Whereas Rask was asked to make a couple big stops, Binnington stood on his head all period. The rookie goaltender made 17 saves in the period. The first period marked a return to form for Binnington who set the league on fire in the regular season, but has looked beatable in this series and the playoffs in general.
Blues Breakthrough in the Second
Though the Bruins dominated the early proceedings of the first period, the Blues responded in kind to start the second. Rask turned away Vladimir Tarasenko on an early high-quality scoring bid.
Zach Sanford dishing out a ridiculous pass and the Blues strike first!
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Alex Pietrangelo also picked up an assist, his 14th of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs The goal continued O’Reilly’s hot streak with his third goal to go along with two assists in his last four games.
From there, the two teams continued the tight checking affair as the game settled down. After a failed Bruins powerplay, opportunities became less plentiful and even the physical game trended more toward a snug, plodding style as opposed to the manic pace the teams had set earlier on.
The Blues nearly found the back of the net in the dying moments of the second period. Torey Krug gave the puck away after getting tied up in the defensive zone. Alex Pietrangelo found himself in front of the net all alone and baited Rask out of position by hesitating with the shot. Pietrangelo ripped a shot into the gaping net only for it to be heroically turned away by David Krejci. The block allowed the Bruins to head into the third period at just a one goal deficit.
The Bruins outshot the Blues 8-6 in the second frame.
David Perron Gets Winner
Early in the third, Steven Kampfer came close to tying the game when he rang a slapshot from the point off the crossbar. After the near miss, the Bruins would once again head to the powerplay with a golden opportunity to find the equalizer. Despite several chances, Binnington would once again prove to be the Blues strongest penalty killer, standing tall for the full two minutes.
Though the Bruins had not scored, the opportunity gave them a slew of chances including a pair of 2-on-1 odd man rushes. The Bruins once again came up short as a goal nearly materialized but the play was whistled dead before the puck crossed the line.
The Blues finally found the back of the net once again midway through the third period. Tyler Bozak appeared to trip a Bruins player in Boston zone, but play continued. The puck found its way to David Perron who attempted to complete a pass to Bozak. The pass did not make its way to Bozak but instead redirected off a Bruins defenseman back to Perron who slid it under Rask and into the net.
The Bruins made the battle to the finish a bit more interesting when Jake Debrusk fired home a shot for the Bruins first goal of the game. The goal was Debrusk’s fourth of the playoffs.
The series heads back to St. Louis as the Blues look to clinch their first Stanley Cup victory. The Bruins and Blues will battle for supremacy Sunday, June 9th in game six of the Stanley Cup final (8 pm ET, NBC).
The Bruins will fight for their playoff lives, looking to force a decisive Game 7.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JUNE 06: David Perron #57 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates his third period goal against the Boston Bruins in Game Five of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)