Around the NHL: Blues Take Game 5, 1 Win from 1st Cup

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For most of Game 5, the story was Jordan Binnington. The Blues goalie was putting on a show and holding down a 1-0 lead.

Then, as it has far too many times already this postseason, officiating became the storyline. The Blues scored their second goal of the game seconds after a missed tripping call. It proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 win for the St. Louis Blues over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. The win puts the Blues one win away from their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

The Bruins got off to a fast start in the first period, opening up a 9-2 advantage in shots before getting a power play for delay of game. The Blues killed off the penalty and started to get chances of their own. The goalies were the focus in the opening period, as Boston fired 17 shots on Binnington and Tuukka Rask made eight saves of his own.

Just 55 seconds into the second period, the Blues got the game's first goal. Zach Sanford made a nice centering pass to Ryan O'Reilly, who beat Rask with a backhand to make it 1-0 with his third goal in the last two games and sixth of the playoffs.

Shots came at a premium in the second period, just an 8-6 advantage for the Bruins. Again, the Blues killed off a Boston power play midway through the period. At the end of the second, the Blues appeared to have a second goal in their grasp when David Krejci came in and blocked Alex Pietrangelo's shot at an empty net, keeping the score at 1-0.

In the third, the Bruins got an early chance with a power play off an interference penalty, but again, the Blues killed it off. 

The game-changing moment happened at 10:36 of the period. Trying to keep play alive in the attacking zone, Tyler Bozak made contact with the leg of Noel Acciari, tripping him. No call was made on the play. While Acciari stayed on the ice and voiced his displeasure with the official, play carried on and David Perron slid a centering pass through the crease that hit Rask and went in to make it 2-0 with 9:24 to play.

The call became all the more important when the Bruins scored with 6:28 remaining with Jake DeBrusk getting the goal. 

Binnington stood tall from there, getting some help from defenseman Carl Gunnarsson on a shot that got behind him with two minutes left. Binnington finished with 38 saves in the win. Rask had 19 saves in the loss.

The series heads back to St. Louis for Game 6 where the Blues have a chance to win the Stanley Cup and complete an incredible run to a championship. The Bruins will need a win to get the series back to Boston for a Game 7 on Wednesday.

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