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Bruins down Blues and force Game 7

Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues and Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins battle in front of Tuukka Rask #40 during the third period in Game Six of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on June 09, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues and Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins battle in front of Tuukka Rask #40 during the third period in Game Six of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on June 09, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS – Believe it or not, karma is definitely a thing.

And some of the bad kind was doused all over the Blues on Sunday.

In anticipation of the first Stanley Cup in the team’s 52 year history, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran ads congratulating the Blues on their first championship hours before Game 6 was played. Included was a congratulatory letter from team chairman Tom Stallman and from major sponsor Enterprise.

And we all know what happened next.

Like they did when trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 in the opening round, the Bruins staved off elimination with a road victory. It was a team effort led by the steady play of Tuukka Rask, who at one point made a save by trapping the puck on his back after it had hit the post.

You know it’s going your way when, right?

Momentum now swings back Boston’s way, partly because the Bruins have home ice advantage and partly because of the goalie at the other end of the ice.

After a couple of big games, Jordan Binnington has rediscovered the shaky form he had at the start of the series.

Even still, don’t expect any of the Boston papers to prematurely congratulate the B’s on winning the seventh Cup in franchise history.

STARTS AND STOPS: Opening period was huge for the Bruins, who took a 1-0 lead on Brad Marchand’s first non-empty net goal of the Cup final and outshot the Blues 11-10 despite the fact St. Louis held a territorial advantage. Bruins had eight blocked shots, as fourth liners Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari led the way with two each. With two GWG’s in the series, Kuraly should get some Conn Smythe Trophy love if the Bruins win. He won’t, but he should …. Entering the night the Bruins were 24-1 when Marchand scored a goal in a playoff game. “I’d feel better if they were 25-0,” said a Bruins fan upon learning this in the first intermission. Is there a difference? … The Bruce Cassidy decision to put Karson Kuhlman in the lineup for the first time in 40 days — since Game 3 of the second round series against the Blue Jackets — was a good one. The 23-year-old winger provided some jump to a veteran lineup that at times appeared to be wearing down. Kuhlman scored the third Bruins goal on a wicked shot off the post. He may never be a healthy scratch in his career.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: A tweet from Andrew Raycroft, the goalie the Leafs acquired from the Bruins for Rask 13 years ago, after Brandon Carlo’s point shot hit something in front and bounced past Jordan Binnington: “That was an awful goal, and I know what an awful goal looks like.” … Great solo shorthanded effort by Ryan O’Reilly in getting past Bruins to a breakaway with the game scoreless. A goal there might have secured for him the Conn Smythe. Instead, after all that work, the puck slipped off his stick and into the corner … For slamming Joakim Nordstrom face first into the glass in the first, might Brayden Schenn get a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety? And a suspension for Game 7? Probably not. Schenn was given a minor penalty. Refs usually miss suspendible offences.

OFF THE POST: Torey Krug didn’t see any need to change the music mix in the Bruins dressing room just because it was an elimination game. “I have the same playlist I’ve been playing for months now,” said the Bruins defenceman. “So if any guys have any requests, they put those in and I’ll filter them. It’s been the same music for months on end. It’s been working for us. Big picture, I’ll keep it the same tonight.” … Refs have decided to start calling slewfoots. And naturally, they have begun with Marchand. It was a dangerous one he delivered at top speed to Alex Pietrangelo.

BETWEEN PERIODS: Both Krug and David Krejci “accidentally” bumped Jordan Binnington as he made the long skate to the bench during a second period TV timeout. Anything to get the rook off his game … Zach Sanford took a punch at Zdeno Chara’s face during a second period scrum. As has been said, Chara won’t have a broken jaw next year … John Moore is one of the best interviews in the NHL. He listens to a question closely and gives it a thoughtful answer. Asked about the feeling in the room Sunday morning, the Bruins’ D-man replied:

“It’s focus, it’s not reckless. I think there’s a distinction there. You train your whole life for a moment like this. Our backs are against the wall but we believe in each other. We’ve liked our game, we liked our game in game 5. You’ve got to think that, it’s just that next shot, that next look, it’s going to go our way.”

LOOSE ENDS:

A friend was asking for a friend if Brett Hull looked a little “overly refreshed”. I told him to tell him he did … O’Reilly is no distant relative of former Bruin great Terry O’Reilly. I asked, just to be sure … O’Reilly is a big fan of the Raptors. “We went to a game this year. Raps versus Celtics, in Boston,” he said Sunday morning. “The Raps lost, but still it was an exciting game to see. Pulling for them. Hopefully they do it.” … The Blues spent Saturday night in a St. Louis hotel. It’s the second time they’ve camped together downtown the night before a home playoff game. The first was before an afternoon start.

dbrennan@postmedia.com

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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