On Sunday, the city of St. Louis was buzzing. More than an hour before puck drop of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, more than 30,000 fans packed a downtown square around the arena. Inside, the crowd was loud as ever. The Blues had a chance to capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history — at home, no less. The Bruins had other plans. Boston won 5-1, to force a Game 7.
Here’s everything you need to know about how Game 6 played out in this edition of ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily.
About last night …
After plenty of pregame hoopla, St. Louis took the ice and looked awesome. They were aggressive on the forecheck and penetrated Boston’s D with sustained pressure in the offensive zone. The Blues outshot the Bruins 5-1 early, then got the first power play. That’s when the game swung.
St. Louis couldn’t capitalize on its early looks. Boston — with a 5-on-3, thanks to Ryan O’Reilly sending a puck over the glass — struck first on a goal from Brad Marchand. (The Bruins, by the way, are now 25-1 in the postseason when Marchand scores a goal). The Bruins’ top line showed up, including their first 5-on-5 goal of the series from David Pastrnak.
But this game was all about Tuukka Rask, who has been exceptional when the stakes are highest this postseason. We now have our first Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final since 2011 … Boston’s most recent championship. Of course, St. Louis feels good about this entering Wednesday’s winner-take-all showdown: Including regular season, Jordan Binnington is 13-2 with a 1.83 goals-against average (28 goals against, 918 minutes) and a .934 save percentage (394 saves on 422 shots) in games immediately following a loss.
1. Tuukka Rask, G, Boston Bruins. With the Bruins facing elimination this postseason, Rask is now 3-0, with a 1.33 GAA and .953 save percentage. He’s allowed only four goals in close to 179 minutes of play.
2. Brad Marchand, LW, Boston Bruins. Marchand’s opening goal silenced the crowd, and also brought with it a sense of inevitability that Boston would win. After all, in 2011, it was Marchand who opened the scoring in a pivotal Game 6 on the road in Vancouver.
ESPN ON ICE daily podcast, with Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post on SCF Game 6. Video by Greg Wyshynski
3. Karson Kuhlman, RW, Boston Bruins. The rookie hadn’t played since April 30, but immediately injected energy on the David Krejci line, and scored a goal to boot. He became the 21st Bruins player to score this postseason, a record.
Play of the night
Tuukka Rask makes an incredible stop by trying to pin the puck to his back after he made the initial save.
Rask posted some ridiculous saves, and also benefited from a bit of luck. This play encapsulates both.
Dud of the night
The Blues’ power play looked to be much improved at times, and they got some great looks against Tuukka Rask. St. Louis had four power-play opportunities and generated 12 shots — not bad. But they couldn’t score on any of them, and that killed the momentum and ultimately doomed them.
Social post of the day
– St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) June 10, 2019
It was an epic farewell anthem from Charles Glenn, who is retiring this year due to his multiple sclerosis.
“Growing up, every one of us shares the same dream. We were all a little kid once, and we all wanted this bad. And I think it was just an element of savoring this moment and not letting it end tonight. It was exactly what we needed. He stepped up, and we all … I mean, like, when he talks, you listen. That’s the presence that he has.” — Charlie McAvoy on Patrice Bergeron‘s pregame speech that inspired the Bruins to Game 6 victory.