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Stanley Cup Finals Game 4 Preview: Bruins vs Blues

Series: Boston leads 2-1

Location: Enterprise Center

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

The Boston Bruins defeated the St. Louis Blues 7-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Game 3 was held at Enterprise Center and was the first Stanley Cup Finals home game for the Blues. Despite the heavy defeat, Blues players will look forward to tonight’s Game 4 matchup at home. The Game 3 loss is the biggest loss in 2019 so far for the Blues. The team overcame adversity this season when head coach Craig Berube became an interim coach. On Jan. 3, 2019 they were the worst team in the NHL, now they will play Game 4 in the Stanley Cup Finals at their home rink. Here are the headlines for tonight’s Stanley Cup Finals matchup.

Blues Struggling At Home

The Bruins had won five-straight road matchups and look to take a 3-1 series lead. The last road game they lost was Game 3 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second of the Eastern Conference on April 30.

The Blues struggled with a 5-6 home record this postseason. On the road, they have an 8-3 record. The good news is there are 6-2 record after a loss. They won the past four games after losing the game before.  

Binnington vs Rask

Blues Goaltender, Jordan Binnington, is 6-2 with a 1.84 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in the last eight games after a loss. Binnington was pulled out of the game in the second period after allowing five goals on 19 shots. It was the first time in his NHL career that he was pulled from a game.

“Same old story, right? Just prepare the same way,” Binnington said. “As a goalie, things will happen, it’s not always going to be perfect and you’ve got to regroup, pick yourself back up and move on to the next game.”

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has been the most consistent player on the Bruins. The Conn-Smythe candidate did a good job maintaining composure and level-headed when Blues forward David Perron ran into him on the net. Perron tried to get under his skin and did not draw a penalty.

“He’s just focused on stopping the puck, not worrying about the sideshow stuff,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s done a real good job with that.”

Rask showed how much he has grown as a veteran in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. His consistency helped the Bruins reach to the Final Round.

Blues Special Teams

The Bruins were 4/4 in the power play in Game 3. In this series, the Bruins total 6-for-14 (43%). The Blues came into the series is the least penalized team in the league. With a man down, the Blues can’t focus on their aggressive forecheck as much. The Blues don’t agree with a lot of the calls in the series but should focus on avoiding the box.

Grzelcyk out for Game 4

Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will remain in concussion protocol and will miss Game 4. This is the second straight game the defenseman will miss. Sundqvist received a minor penalty for Boarding and a one-game suspension by the NHL Department of Player Safety. There is no timetable for Grzelcyk return.

Blues Lineup Change; Sundqvist, Dunn in. Fabbri, Bortuzzo out.

Defenseman Vince Dunn will be in the lineup tonight pairing with Carl Gunnarsson. He will replace Robert Bortuzzo in the third defensive pairing. Dunn, 22, had not played since Game 3 against the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Final. He suffered an injury from taking a puck on the face.

Expect forward Zach Sanford to move up to the second line with Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron. The young forward impressed and graduated from the fourth line.

Center Oskar Sundqvist joined the morning practice and joined the fourth line with Ivan Barbashev and Alex Steen. He is returning from a one-game suspension.  Robby Fabbri will be a healthy scratch tonight after appearing in Games 2 and 3.

Blues projected lineup

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz — Brayden Schenn — Vladimir Tarasenko

Zach Sanford — Ryan O’Reilly — David Perron

Pat Maroon — Tyler Bozak — Sammy Blais

Ivan Barbashev — Oskar Sundqvist — Alexander Steen

Defense

Joel Edmundson — Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester — Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn — Carl Gunnarsson

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

John Moore — Connor Clifton

Starting Goalie

Tuukka Rask

 

Photo Credit: Scott Kane/AP

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