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Stanley Cup Finals Game 2 Preview: Boston Bruins vs. St. Louis Blues

Series: Boston leads 1-0

Location: TD Garden

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET; (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)

The Boston Bruins won 4-2 in Game 1 on Monday night, extending their win streak to eight games. They hadn’t lost since April 30, when they played the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Tonight they hope to take a 2-0 lead and extend their win streak before heading away to St. Louis for Game 3. Since the NHL went to the best-of-7 format, teams that lead the series 2-0 of the Finals won the Stanley Cup 90.2% of the time.

Boston Bruins Notes

Being Able To Adjust The Game Plan

The Bruins came back after trailing two goals in Game 1. In the last two periods, they only allowed 12 shots from the Blues, including three in the second period. The Bruins did a great job figuring out the tough Blues forecheck. They could make clean breakouts and manage the puck through the neutral zone. Head coach Bruce Cassidy had his players focused on the breakout for this upcoming matchup for the series. He knew the Blues relied on their strong forecheck to create more offense.

Top Line Adjustments

The Blues could shut down the Bruins top forward line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. The first line of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko could cause trouble and turnovers towards Boston’s first line. Boston made some changes when Pastrnak turnover led to Tarasenko’s goal at the beginning of the second period.

Cassidy could make changes and have the fourth line of Sean Kuraly, Joakim Nordstrom and Noel Acciari to matchup the Blue’s first line.

Blues Notes

Game 1 was a big test for the Blues. They faced a Boston team that had 10 days of rest heading into the series. Boston could figure out their strong forecheck and outskated them. The Blues aren’t worried about being down 2-0. Head coach Craig Berube got his players in the right mindset. He can have his players to focus on the present, not the future or past. The Blues were the worst team in the NHL on Jan. 3. Now they are in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Dunn, Thomas Out For Game 2

Berube confirmed to the media that both Robert Thomas and Vince Dunn will be out for Game 2. According to the head coach, Thomas injury was not from the heavy hit from Torey Krug in the third period. Thomas has six points (one goal, five assists) in 20 postseason games. Forward Robby Fabbri is expected to fill in Thomas’s spot for Game 2. 

Dunn has not played since Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Sharks. He has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 16 games this postseason. Berube and the Blues expect him to return sometime this series.

Jordan Binnington’s Presence

Binnington made 34 saves out of 37 shots in Game 1. He allowed some shaky goals, but the loss isn’t because of his mistakes. In this year’s playoffs, Binnington is 5-2 with a 1.84 goals-against average and .937 save percentage after a loss. He was also 2-0n the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks. Binnington proved doubters wrong about being able to bounce back. Can he bounce back in the Stanley Cup Final? 

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Blue’s Discipline

The Blues gave Boston five power-play opportunities. Some of these penalties could’ve been avoided in the first place. The most pivotal moment of the game was when Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy scored on the power-play to tie the game 2-2 in the second period. Things went downhill, and the Bruins could limit the Blues strong forecheck and offense. The Bruins are 40 percent on the power-play in the last five games. It’s obvious that the Blues need to stay out of the box.

Blues projected lineup

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz — Brayden Schenn — Vladimir Tarasenko

Sammy Blais — Ryan O’Reilly — David Perron

Patrick Maroon — Tyler Bozak — Robby Fabbri

Ivan Barbashev — Oskar Sundqvist — Alexander Steen

Defense

Joel Edmundson — Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester — Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson — Robert Bortuzzo

Starting Goalie

Jordan Binnington
Bruins projected lineup

Forwards

Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — David Backes

Marcus Johansson — Charlie Coyle — Danton Heinen

Joakim Nordstrom — Sean Kuraly — Noel Acciari

Defense

Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk — Connor Clifton

Starting Goalie

Tuukka Rask

 

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