Jordan Binnington

Talking Points from Bruins' 4-1 Game 7 loss to the Blues

Talking Points from Bruins' 4-1 Game 7 loss to the Blues

GOLD STAR: For my money, Alex Pietrangelo should have won the Conn Smythe Trophy rather than Ryan O’Reilly. Pietrangelo scored the winning goal after cruising into the offensive for a backhanded attempt from the slot and played 25 plus minutes of quality hockey for a Blues team that rode him like a workhorse throughout the Stanley Cup Final.

Pietrangelo finished with a goal, two points and a plus-3 in 25:56 of ice time, three shots on net, two hits and four blocked shots while once again finishing as the best D-men on the ice for either team. The Stanley Cup win on his resume and the way he played at the key moments of this series should absolutely raise his profile a bit from the lofty place it already held across the league. Pietrangelo was money in Game 7 for St. Louis.

BLACK EYE: David Pastrnak finished as a minus-7 in the Stanley Cup Final overall and was a zero once again in the biggest game of the series at TD Garden. Pastrnak finished with zero points and a minus-2 to go along with three shots on net and four giveaways and didn’t show up nearly enough in this series against a team that wasn’t afraid to rough him up. 

Certainly, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron deserve criticism as well for not stepping up and producing when the team needed them to most in the biggest game of the postseason. But Pastrnak never really got going in these playoffs and truthfully never fully regained his mojo after injuring his thumb toward the end of the regular season.

TURNING POINT: There’s no doubting it was Brad Marchand turning over a puck in the final few moments of the second period and then watching as the Blues ended up scoring with the Pietrangelo backhander with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first period.

That back-breaking goal gave the Blues a 2-0 lead headed into the first intermission and truly killed Boston’s chances of making it a game once St. Louis opted to pack it in defensively starting in the second period. The Bruins truthfully never recovered from that gut punch after controlling play in the first and failing to score on 11 shots on net against Jordan Binnington.

HONORABLE MENTION: Binnington was shaky in parts of the Stanley Cup Final and he looked like he’d cracked under the pressure in the third period of Game 6 when he allowed three goals in a 5-1 loss. Binnington was fighting the puck very early in Game 7, but gained confidence as the Bruins couldn’t fight their way to the front of the net for any of the rebounds that the Blues goaltender was giving up.

Then. Binnington made saves on Marchand and David Krejci on Boston's first-period power play and that was it for the Blues goalie. He stopped 32 of 33 shots, including a massive save on Joakim Nordstrom in the third period that directly preceded the third goal of the game for St. Louis. Once that two-goal swing happened it was all over for the Bruins and Binnington had outplayed Tuukka Rask in a Game 7 where it all mattered.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0 – The number of points from the Perfection Line (Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak) in a Game 7 where Boston’s best players needed to step up if the Bruins were hoping to win.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Devastated.” –A very quiet Charlie McAvoy asked to describe his emotions after being 60 minutes away from his lifelong goal and then falling short in the end.
 

Highlights of the Bruins' 4-1 Game 7 loss to the Blues

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AP Images

Highlights of the Bruins' 4-1 Game 7 loss to the Blues

FINAL SCORE: Blues 4, Bruins 1

IN BRIEF: Jordan Binnington made 32 saves to deny the Bruins time after time as the St. Louis Blues rode their rookie goaltender and two first-period goals to a 4-1 victory in Game 7 in Boston to win their first Stanley Cup in the franchise's 52-year history. BOX SCORE 

HIGHLIGHTS:

RYAN O'REILLY GETS THE BLUES ON THE BOARD:

ALEX PIETRANGELO MAKES IT 2-0 IN THE FINAL SECONDS OF THE 1ST:

JORDAN BINNINGTON DENIES MARCUS JOHANSSON:

TUUKKA RASK JUST BARELY KEEPS IT A 2-0 GAME...

...UNTIL 8 MINUTES LEFT IN THE 3RD, WHEN BRAYDEN SCHENN STRIKES:

ZACH SANFORD PUTS IT AWAY FOR BLUES LATE IN THE 3RD:

FROM JOE HAGGERTY:

*Two goals on four shots for the Blues in the first period. Two goals allowed on four shots for Tuukka Rask in the first period. The first one was a redirected puck from the slot and can be excused a bit for Rask, but he needs to stop a backhanded shot from Alex Pietrangelo with less than 10 seconds to go until the first intermission. It was a tough time for mediocre Rask to show up in these playoffs, but that’s exactly what has happened. The Blues then added an insurance goal in the third period to cap it all off and provide the kind of advantage that the B’s just weren’t going to be able to overcome.

*The Bruins had a couple of bouncy pucks around the front of the net for rebounds early in the first period, but it looked like Jordan Binnington really locked things down after that. He made big stops on Brad Marchand and David Krejci during the Boston power play and made 11 saves overall while settling in after the first few minutes where it looked like he was a little uncomfortable between the pipes. By the third period, Binnington made a full extension butterfly save on Joakim Nordstrom around the net after a rebound chance from a Noel Acciari shot, and that directly proceeded St. Louis scoring the third goal and icing the game.

*Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn teamed for a goal in the third period to ice the game. The Blues best players came to play in Game 7. Are the Bruins best players going to answer? Just seven shots on net for Boston’s Perfection Line through a couple of periods and not enough Grade-A scoring chances. It was too much of an uphill climb for the Bruins without their best players going at full tilt, and they were not that in Game 7.

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Bruins have Game 7 experience edge in Stanley Cup Final

Bruins have Game 7 experience edge in Stanley Cup Final

On Wednesday night, defenseman Zdeno Chara will set the NHL record by playing in his 14th Game 7. But Chara isn't the only one with a long Game 7 résumé, as the Boston Bruins have nearly double the collective Game 7 experience than the St. Louis Blues. 

Overall, the current Blues roster is an impressive 40-9 (.816) in Game 7's throughout their careers. However, this is mostly due to the Blues' recent success and small sample size, as they have won their three previous Game 7 matchups — one this year and two in 2016 — with much of their current core. Boston has significantly more experience, with its roster playing in 89 total Game 7's, going 60-29 (.674) in series-clinchers. 

No Blues player has played in more than four Game 7's, while defenseman Zdeno Chara leads the Bruins with 13. In those games, Chara has posted a +/- of +7.  Patrice Bergeron (11), David Krejci (10) and Brad Marchand (8) are also familiar with the magnitude of the moment. 

St. Louis rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington, who has shown both flashes of brilliance and lapses of incompetance in the Stanley Cup Final, has been in one Game 7. In that contest against the Dallas Stars, Binnington was spectacular, allowing one goal on 30 shots. 

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