With a 2-1 win in Game 5 — the lowest-scoring game of this series — the St. Louis Blues are on the cusp of their first-ever Stanley Cup, and have a chance to win it at home. The Boston Bruins? They’ll have to summon some composure (a la what the Blues did after the hand-pass debacle against San Jose) to stay alive.
Here’s everything you need to know about how Game 5 played out in this edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily:
About last night …
Where do we begin? With Bruins captain Zdeno Chara making the decision to suit up less than 72 hours after reportedly breaking his jaw? (And Boston suiting up seven defenseman because they knew Chara wasn’t 100 percent and didn’t know how he’d do with, say, breathing?)
With rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington putting together his finest performance of this series — and maybe his entire playoffs?
With the Blues on the precipice of their first Stanley Cup?
Or maybe that missed tripping call on Noel Acciari, which gave the Blues their eventual game-winning goal and sent Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy into a tizzy (suggesting a conspiracy that Craig Berube‘s comments after Game 3 altered the officiating in this series)?
As you can see, it was a wild one on Thursday night in Boston, and it injected some more juice into the series. With their victory, the Blues became the first team in this Final to win two games in a row, while Boston needs a bit more from its star-studded top line to even things up in Game 6.
Bruce Cassidy says he told an official, “You missed an F’ing call” that resulted in the Blues’ second goal in Game 5.
1. Ryan O’Reilly, C, St. Louis Blues. O’Reilly has been on a tear the last two games, and is making a late push for the Conn Smythe Trophy, as MVP of the playoffs. He scored a goal early in the second period — the Blues’ fifth goal in the first minute of a period this postseason — and then assisted on David Perron‘s goal, which proved to be the game-winner.
2. Jordan Binnington, G, St. Louis Blues. Binnington’s 38 saves are the most by a rookie goalie in a Stanley Cup Final win. He is the fifth goalie overall in league history to record nine road wins in a single playoff run, and breaks a tie with Ron Hextall (eight in 1987) for the most ever in a single postseason by a rookie goaltender.
3. Zdeno Chara, D, Boston Bruins. The fact that Chara even suited up is remarkable. His presence inspired the team, and when his name was introduced during starting lineups, TD Garden was louder than it had been all playoffs. The 42-year-old finished playing 16:42, made four hits, three blocks and took two shots on goal.
Play of the night
Tyler Bozak trips Noel Acciari, but no call is made, allowing David Perron to score in the third period.
Gary Bettman said after the hand-pass game he thought it would be good if his head wouldn’t explode. Wonder what the commish thought of this.
Dud of the night
Boston’s celebrated power play couldn’t connect, going 0-for-3. If we take out their 4-for-4 performance in Game 3, the Bruins are 2-for-15 on the man advantage in this series. Not great.
Social post of the day
This will be one of the lasting images of the game.
Cam Neely seems upset pic.twitter.com/gFXmteE51w
– Mike Darnay (@MikeDarnay) June 7, 2019
“The narrative changed after Game 3. There was a complaint put forth by the opposition, and that seemed to change everything. I mean, the non-call on Acciari … the player was on his way to the box. It’s right in front of the official. Our guy’s gone, the spotter took him out of the game for a possible concussion. It’s blatant, [had a] big effect on the game. This has happened — I’m a fan of the game — this is the National Hockey League getting a black eye with their officiating this playoffs. And this is another one that’s going to be talked about. I thought it was a great hockey game. That call probably — there’s time [left], but it really made it difficult for us to get the win tonight. So I’m disappointed. So I guess, to answer your original question, it was egregious.” — Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, a bit irked after the game.