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Bruins vs. Blues: Fast facts for 2019 Stanley Cup Final showdown

Bruins vs. Blues: Fast facts for 2019 Stanley Cup Final showdown

The Boston Bruins finally know which team they'll face in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.

The St. Louis Blues will take on the B's for the greatest trophy in sports. Game 1 of the Cup Final is Memorial Day evening at TD Garden in Boston, so both teams have plenty of time to rest and prepare for what should be  an exciting series.

The Bruins and Blues have met twice in the playoffs, including the 1970 Stanley Cup Final when Boston legend Bobby Orr won the series with his famous flying goal in overtime of Game 4. The Blues have never won a Stanley Cup, and their 51-year championship drought is tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the longest such streak in the NHL. St. Louis also is searching for its first Stanley Cup Final win, having gone 0-12 in its three previous appearances.

Here are some fast facts to know for the upcoming Bruins vs. Blues matchup in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.

How they got here: The Bruins beat the Leafs in a seven-game first-round series, then dispatched the Columbus Blue Jackets in a six-game second-round matchup before sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. The Blues upset the Winnipeg Jets in a six-game first-round series, then defeated the Dallas Stars in a seven-game second-round series before eliminating the San Jose Sharks in six games during the Western Conference Final.

Home cooking: The Bruins will have home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1990. They went 3-0 at home in the 2011 Cup Final and 1-2 in the 2013 series. Boston is 6-3 at home in the 2019 playoffs. The Blues are 7-2 on the road this postseason and went 21-13-7 away from home during the regular season.

Head-to-head: The B's and Blues met twice in the regular season.

Thursday, Jan. 17 in Boston: Bruins won 5-2
Saturday, Feb 23. in St. Louis: Blues won 2-1 in a shootout

Goaltender matchup: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is 6-2-4 with a .924 save percentage and a 2.12 GAA in 13 career games against the Blues. He's the leading Conn Smythe Trophy candidate through the first three rounds with a 12-5 record, a .942 save percentage and a 1.84 GAA. He went 1-0-1 and stopped 56 of the 59 shots he faced in two games versus St. Louis this season.

Blues netminder Jordan Binnington enjoyed a fantastic rookie campaign and has taken that success into the postseason. He was 11-7 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.44 GAA entering Tuesday night's Game 6 versus the Sharks. Binnington stopped 31 of 32 shots in a 2-1 shootout win over the B's on Feb. 23, which is his only career appearance against Boston.

Stat breakdown: Here's how these teams compare in notable stats from the regular season (NHL rank in parenthesis).

GOALS
BOS: 3.13 (11th)
STL: 2.98 (15th)

GAA
BOS: 2.59 (3rd)
STL: 2.68 (T-5th)

PP%
BOS: 25.9 (3rd)
STL: 21.1 (10th)

PK%
BOS: 79.9 (16th)
STL: 81.5 (9th)

Here's how they compare through three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs:

GOALS/G
BOS: 3.35
STL: 3.00

GAA
BOS: 1.94
STL: 2.52

PP%
BOS: 34.0
STL: 19.3

PK%
BOS: 86.3
STL: 78.0

Click here for five Blues players who Bruins fans should know>>>

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 OT win over the Flyers in preseason

Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 OT win over the Flyers in preseason

Here are Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 OT win over the Flyers in their preseason home opener. 

GOLD STAR:  Bruins left winger Jake DeBrusk certainly feel great about the way his season ended last year, but he started things off with a bang this year in the preseason. DeBrusk potted the overtime game-winner when he crashed the front of the net and pushed in a rebound of a Brad Marchand shot during a 4-on-3 power play for the Bruins in overtime. DeBrusk was strong throughout the game with five shots on net to go along with the goal in 16 plus minutes of ice time, and even more so when you considered that his regular center man, David Krejci, was knocked out just two shifts into the game for the Black and Gold.

BLACK EYE: It was a rough one for David Krejci, who exited the game after two shifts in the first period after a collision with Shayne Gostisbehere where it looked like his right knee buckled after a bit of a hip check. Krejci wasn’t on the bench to start the second period and certainly didn’t want to start his preseason out this way. The good news is that Bruce Cassidy said postgame that it was more precautionary than anything else, but it’s never good to see any of the aging core group dinged up during the largely meaningless preseason.

TURNING POINT: It looked like the Bruins were going to go quietly into that good night trailing 3-2 late in the third period, but instead the fourth line stepped up and allowed the Bruins to win it in overtime. Sean Kuraly made the play feeding to a wide-open Chris Wagner in transition, and Wagner did the rest dangling the puck through Brian Elliott’s five-hole for the game-tying score late in the third period. It shows once again the kind of possibilities that the Bruins will have this season if they can figure out the second and third line mix because the top line and the fourth line are already good to go for the Black and Gold.  

HONORABLE MENTION: Jakub Lauko only played nine minutes in the game, but he was dynamite for the Bruins while scoring the first goal of the game. Lauko threw a puck to himself off the boards while blowing by Flyers defenseman Mark Friedman, and then he sniped a wrist shot from a bad angle under the bar past a stunned Elliott. It was Lauko’s only shot on net in the game, but it was a memorable one as it spoke to the dazzling skills that the youngsters bring to the table each time he’s on the ice. The lack of ice time for him tonight, though, speaks to the very slim chances he has of making the team given the older, experienced players around him.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the number of assists for David Backes in a solid night for him as the 35-year-old continues to fight for a job with the Bruins amidst some stiff competition at the forward position.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I don’t think it’s serious. [We] felt it was better to not push through it. We’ll know more [on Tuesday].” –Bruce Cassidy speaking about the lower-body injury to David Krejci, which sounded precautionary more than anything else.

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David Krejci (lower body) OUT of Bruins preseason home opener after two shifts

David Krejci (lower body) OUT of Bruins preseason home opener after two shifts

BOSTON – The Bruins were excited to get back on home ice for the first time this preseason when they suited up against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night at TD Garden.

The enthusiasm lasted about 20 minutes as David Krejci left Boston’s preseason home opener after playing two shifts in the first period with a lower-body injury. Krejci finished with 1:55 of ice time in the first period and was missing from the bench at the start of the second period after appearing to tweak his right ankle/knee after a collision in front of the Flyers net with Shayne Gostisbehere.

It was a short-lived Krejci preseason debut for the Bruins just as Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask were all appearing in their first game action during the 2019 exhibition season.

Now the Bruins have to hope that the 33-year-old Krejci is going to be okay with the regular season opener just less than two weeks away, and the Bruins holding little real depth when it comes to top-6 centers. Sure, Charlie Coyle could push up and fill in for a short period of time behind Patrice Bergeron, but the 35-year-old Bergeron is another playing taking it slowly this preseason while coming back from a nagging groin issue.

"I don't think it's serious," Bruce Cassidy said after the game. "We'll know more tomorrow."

Krejci played 81 games last season for the Bruins while posting 20 goals and 73 points, and was in the midst of the Bruins trying to find a right winger to go with No. 46 and Jake DeBrusk on the Bruins second line.

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