Around the NHL: Blues Start Fast, But Bruins Respond to Take Game 1

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Boston Bruins had a 10-day break between games and tried to ease the blow of the layoff with a intra-squad scrimmage last Thursday. For the first 21 minutes, it didn't work.

The Bruins weren't badly outplayed, but trailed on the scoreboard, 2-0, to the St. Louis Blues. Just 1:16 later, Connor Clifton gave TD Garden a reason to cheer and the Bruins were back in the game. They never looked back from there.

Boston scored four unanswered goals to erase a hot start by the Blues in a 4-2 win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

The Blues struck for the game's first goal at 7:23 of the opening period with Brayden Schenn firing a shot high to the stick side on Tuukka Rask. It was Schenn's third goal of the playoffs.

After 20 minutes, shots were even, 8-8, but the Blues led early.

Just one minute into the second period, Schenn set up Vladimir Tarasenko for a goal off a Boston turnover to make it 2-0. The goal was answered just 1:16 later by Clifton, who tipped the puck in off a centering feed from Sean Kuraly.

Throughout the first 30 minutes of the game, the Blues had taken three penalties to put the Bruins on the power play. They took a fourth shortly after the midway point of the game. The Bruins entered the Final with the best power play in the playoffs. In the final 30 seconds of the power play and with 7:19 remaining in the period, Charlie McAvoy scored to tie the game with an unassisted power-play goal.

The Bruins outshot the Blues, 18-3, in the second period. To that point, Jordan Binnington had been the player of the game for St. Louis, keeping the Blues in the game with several great saves.

With 14:39 remaining in the third, the Bruins broke through for their first lead of the game. Kuraly was on the doorstep to put home a rebound and give the Bruins the 3-2 lead.

The Blues failed to score on a power play attempt midway through the third, their best chance to get the game tied. Boston kept the pressure on, outshooting the Blues, 12-9, in the final period. Brad Marchand finished off the game with an empty-net goal with 1:49 to play.

Rask made 18 saves in the win. Binnington made 34 saves in the loss.

Game 2 of the series is on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in Boston.

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