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TUESDAY • 05.28.2019 • $2.50






Turnovers, bad penalties cost Blues 2-0 lead


Bruins fourth-line forward Sean Kuraly scores the winning goal past Blues defender Joel Edmundson and goalie Jordan Binnington on Monday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.


Mon. at Boston Bos 0 2 2 — 4 Stl 1 10 — 2 GWG: Kuraly


7 p.m. Wednesday at Boston NBCSN

GAME 3 7 p.m. Saturday at Blues NBCSN

GAME 4 7 p.m. Monday at Blues KSDK (Ch.5)


7 p.m. Thursday 6/6 at Boston KSDK (Ch.5)

GAME 6* 7 p.m. Sunday 6/9 at Blues KSDK (Ch.5)


7 p.m. Wednesday 6/12 at Boston KSDK (Ch.5)


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Players from both teams converge after Blues goalie Jordan Binnington lost sight of the puck that was between his legs in the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.


Despite suring ahead, Blues still can’t win in Final BRUINS 4, BLUES 2

BY JIM THOMAS St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Boston Blues


t now is 51 years and counting, but the Blues still haven’t won a game in the Stanley Cup Final. They were swept in four games in their three previous Cup Final appearances — in 1968 and 1969 against the Montreal Canadiens and in 1970 against the Boston Bruins. On Monday night it was same story, different century. The Blues looked good early, jumping to a 2-0 lead early in the second period. But with towel-waving Robert Kraft, owner of football’s New England Patriots in the house, Boston stormed back for a 4-2 victory at TD Garden in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. It was the Bruins’ eighth straight victory in these playoffs — they have outscored their opponents 32-11 in that stretch. And it ran their postseason record to 9-0 against the Blues, including a 4-0 sweep in the 1970 Stanely Cup Final, they last time the Blues were in the title round. “We’ve been real disciplined most of the playoffs pretty much,” coach Craig Berube said. “We weren’t tonight obviously with five penalties. We gotta be better there.” Entering Monday’s contest, the Blues were the least penalized team in the playoffs this season, spending an average of 6.18 minutes in the penalty box per game. That wasn’t the case Monday, when they were whistled for five penalties compared to two for Boston. “I’m not gonna judge the calls, but they did happen,” Perron said. “We were in the box too much and that gave them the chance to get their touches and kinda get going in their game and shoot pucks on net. “The number (of shots) looked bad and a lot of it happened on the power play. And we just didn’t play good enough in the second.” No they didn’t. After taking a 2-0 lead one minute into the second period on Vladimir Tarasenko’s ninth goal of the playoffs, it was all Boston. Connor Clifton got behind the Blues’ defense for a tap-in goal on a pinpoint pass from Sean Kuraly 76 seconds after Tarasenko’s goal. Clifton beat his former teammate from the Providence Bruins, goalie Jordan Binnington, on

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First Period B: Schenn 3 (Schwartz, Bouwmeester), 7:23. Penalties: Kuraly, BOS, (tripping), 3:37; Perron, STL, (tripping), 13:15; Thomas, STL, (hooking), 16:45. Second Period B: Tarasenko 9 (Schenn), 1:00. Bos: Boston, Clifton 2 (Nordstrom, Kuraly), 2:16 Bos: McAvoy 2, 12:41 (pp). Penalties: Edmundson, STL, (high sticking), 5:25; Sundqvist, STL, (cross checking), 11:04.

The Bruins’ Matt Grzelcyk (left) and Blues’ Ivan Barbashev collide in the third period.

the play. Charlie McAvoy scored on the power play with 7:19 left in the period to tie the game at 2-2. And then Kuraly got the winner 5:21 into the third period getting the puck past Joel Edmundson and then Binnington during a scramble in front of the net. The Blues were outshot 18-3 in the second period and 30-12 over the final two periods. “It’s just a reflection of we didn’t have the puck down low,” the Blues’ Jay Bouwmeester said. “We just played into their hands. It’s tough to win when you take five penalties, especially against a team that has a real good power play.” It took several scrambling saves and spectacular saves by Binnington to keep the Blues in it before Brad Marchand scored an empty-net goal with 1:49 left. “When that first goal went in they got some momentum, and then a big push there,” said Binnington, who made 34 saves. “You could feel them coming and they were coming hard and the rink was buzzing.” In comparison, the Blues mustered only 20 shots and went the last 11:44 of the second and the first 4:33 of the third without a shot on goal — a total drought of 16:17. “I think we’re fine in here,” Perron said. “We know what we did is we went to the box too much. We lost our com-

posure a little bit. We were not getting to our game enough below the goal line, things like that. But I think we’re gonna be a lot better next game.” The Bruins entered the game with a scalding 34 percent success rate on the power play in the postseason, so the Blues were playing into their hands by sending out the Boston power play so many times. And the Blues weren’t always happy about the calls. Edmundson was sent off for highsticking former Blues captain David Backes 5½ minutes into the second period. Edmundson reacted as if he thought Backes was guilty of embellishment, and gave a shove to Backes in the back while the Boston forward was on the ice. The Blues killed that one off. They weren’t as fortunate 5½ minutes later when Oskar Sundqvist was sent off for hooking, at the 11:04 mark of the second. Sundqvist complained about that call as well, drawing boos from the crowd at TD Garden. That penalty led to the game-tying goal by McAvoy. “Yeah, I mean there’s a couple where we weren’t sure,” Perron said. “But it is what it is. . . . It’s a fast game out there and we just gotta make sure our sticks aren’t in there. Same with my penalty.” This is Boston’s 20th Stanley Cup Final and Monday marked its first victory in those 20 when trailing by two or

Third Period Bos: Kuraly 3 (Chara, Acciari), 5:21. Bos: Marchand 8, 18:11. Penalties: Krejci, BOS, (illegal check to head), 6:55; Blais, STL, (interference), 13:28. Shots on Goal Boston Blues

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18 3

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Power-play Blues 0 of 2; Boston 1 of 5. Goaltenders Blues, Binnington 12-8 (37 shots-34 saves) Boston, Rask 13-5 (20-18). A: 17,565 (17,565). T—2:34. Referees: Steve Kozari, Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Pierre Racicot.

more goals. But it was more than the penalties that stymied St. Louis. The Blues just couldn’t generate anything for most of the final two periods, as a quick, aggressive Boston squad kept the Blues bottled up in their own zone much of the time. “They pressure you. They come hard,” Berube said. “They’re a quick team. They get on you. They’ve got good sticks. They do a lot of good things. . . . They force you into bad situations with the puck a lot of times.” And in terms of physical play, they matched the Blues hit by hit. By game’s end Boston had 32 hits to the Blues’ 33. A hit by Torey Krug leveled Robert Thomas midway through the third period and the Blues’ rookie did not return.

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05.28.2019 • Tuesday • M 1


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M 2 • TUESDAY • 05.28.2019


Bruins do their best Blues impression, win with unlikely heroes BENJAMIN HOCHMAN St. Louis Post-Dispatch



he “mirror” stuff was cute, wasn’t it? Oh, the Bruins and Blues, they look so much alike! That was the talk heading into the Stanley Cup Final. And in Game 1, the Bruins did look like the Blues — a deep team that can beat you any night with anybody. But the Blues? They looked like the San Jose Sharks — unbalanced and over-matched. Bruins 4, Blues 2. It’s just one loss, doesn’t count for anything more. But it stings — and not just because it’s in the Stanley Cup Final. It stings because the Blues led this game, in Boston, 2-0, and then the Bruins beat the Blues at their own game. It stings because the top three stars were Sean Kuraly, Marcus Johansson and Connor Clifton. Did you know, before Monday, that all three of those humans were Boston Bruins? The brutalizing Bruins won the same way the Blues won so many games this postseason — by having all four lines play furious hockey, with all three defensive lines contributing. “We saw it,” the Blues’ David Perron said. “Their fourth line — their so-tospeak fourth line — got two goals. So they played well.” That’s scary. This is alarming. Oh, and then look at it this way — the Blues kept Boston’s top guys from being great — in Boston. And the Blues still lost. All that talk about how it takes four lines to win a tournament? Robert Bortuzzo scoring, Ivan Barbashev punishing, Oskar Sundqvist doing everything? It got the Blues here to the Stanley Cup Final. But it also got the Bruins here. And Boston won the first chess match on ice, if only because the Bruins seemed to be playing with more pieces. To win Game 2, the Blues must have their depth create more offense more often. Simple as that. “There was no flow. You know?” Blues coach Craig Berube said of Game 1. “We didn’t have the flow of the lines one after another, getting to our game, getting on the forecheck. It was sporadic. We didn’t get it turned around good enough. ... “(The Bruins) are going to do good things. They’re going to force us into bad situations and things like that. We need to give more than we gave tonight. … In the second period, we got pucks and we didn’t advance them. Turned them over. Gave them momentum. … We stopped skating, stopped moving the puck, turned it over, gave them momentum.” The three Boston goals with Jordan Binnington in net were scored by the most unlikely trio — third-line defenseman Clifton via five on five, defenseman Charlie McAvoy on the power play, and then fourth-liner Kuraly. Not exactly Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak. But they got the job done. That Kuraly goal, giving Boston a 3-2 lead, had an impact reminiscent of the Blues’ fourth-line goal against San Jose in Game 3. The plays didn’t mirror themselves, no. But they were both beautiful surprises. Against the Sharks in the Western Conference finals, Alexander Steen whipped an unreal, unexpected pass to Sundqvist for a game-rattling goal. Here in Game 1, a fellow named Noel Acciari zipped a pass across the crease to Kuraly, who put it in as Joel Edmundson just sort of stood there. In Game 1, the Blues’ D sure didn’t have depth. But really, the play that encapsulated the game was made by Torrey Krug. He’s one of the defensemen for Boston, a scrappy guy at 5-feet-9, 180 pounds. But he made a play they’ll be talking about for 48 hours. A play that was an emotional dagger in the Blues’ side. A play that shows that if you’re going to win the Cup, everyone has to contribute — and not just by scoring or passing. With the score 3-2, and the Blues


Jaden Schwartz tries to control the puck in front of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rusk during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

In what might be the most memorable moment of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, a helmet-less Torrey Krug plowed through the Blues’ Robert Thomas late in the third period at TD Garden.

slowly emerging from their embarrassing second-period form, Krug and Perron got into a scrap on the ice in front of Tuukka Rask, the Bruins’ goalie. Krug’s helmet was flung off. No penalties, though. After he got up, a helmet-less Krug sprinted down ice like a special-teamer on a NFL kickoff . . . and rocked Robert Thomas to the ice. The Garden was as loud as it was when a goal was scored. Meanwhile, where were the bruising Blues? Where was St. Louis’ depth? What happened to the road swagger? Well, for one, Boston’s Bruins seem to be well-coached. They smother on defense. There is little room to skate. (Time? Nope. Space? Nah.) And the Bruins routinely stymied the Blues’ offensive attacks, cutting off cross-ice passes, hohum. And second, the Bruins proved, for one night, that they are deeper than St. Louis. “They have a lot of good players — they use everybody, all 16,’ said Berube, whose team plays Game 2 at TD Garden on Wednesday. “They’re a good team. We’re a good team, too, though. We have depth.” Game 1 is just one game. But it could be a Boston harbinger. Benjamin Hochman @hochman on Twitter

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05.28.2019 • TUESDAY • M 2



Blues will have to help Binnington if they hope to win the series BEN FREDERICKSON St. Louis Post-Dispatch



ere’s a positive. Thanks to the film from Monday night’s loss, the Blues have a fresh and visual reminder that their game plan against the heavily favored Bruins might actually work. They now have confirmation that the opposite of it sure won’t. For days leading up to their longawaited return to the Stanley Cup Final, the Blues spoke about not giving Brad Marchand and his killer B’s anything extra, no matter how much Boston begged. The Bruins are almost as good at drawing penalties as they are at capitalizing on power plays. They entered this series with a postseason-best 34 percent power-play percentage. No other team reached 28. “Play between the whistles, for sure,” Blues coach Craig Berube said leading up to Game 1. “We have done a good job of that in the playoffs so far. We have been real good with our discipline after the whistle, staying out of the stuff.” The rules at TD Garden seem to be pretty loose, lax enough that Boston fans, wearing their sweaters, crashed the Bruins’ post-game press conference following their team’s 4-2 win. That means Joel Edmundson should be able to drop in for Berube’s next remarks about not taking needless penalties. He clearly needs some reminding. David Perron tripped – and later got away with riding Torrey Krug like a mechanical bull. Robert Thomas hooked – and later took a devastating hit from Krug in response to Perron’s ride. I imagine a sellout crowd back home at the Enterprise Center protested these calls. But no one, after seeing it again, could make much of a defense of Edmundson’s high stick to the face of former Blues captain David Backes. Sure, Backes might have sold it a bit. That’s smart. Edmundson’s shove to the face was not. That’s not said with some soft spot for Backes, either. His snarling play made it clear he’s all Bruin. The Blues need more brain. Three times, the Blues gave the Bruins’ elite power play a shot. Three times, the Blues’ penalty kill survived. The Blues had played with fire and survived. Then came the burn.


The’ Blues Oskar Sundqvist was called for a penalty after knocking the Bruins’ Connor Clifton into the boards in the second period.

A game the Blues led 2-0 a minute into the second period was tied less than 13 minutes later, when Charlie McAvoy turned an Oskar Sundqvist cross-checking into a power-play goal on the fourth of five – five! – chances the Blues handed their opponent. Whine about the officiating if you like. Berube didn’t. “It takes a lot of guys out of the game, and burns a lot of energy from other guys when they’re killing (penalties) all the time,” the coach said. “It’s too much. We’ve got to be better there. We’ve got to be more disciplined. Calls are calls. That’s the way it goes. We’re not going to complain about it. We’ve just got to be better.” There was another problem created by the Blues abandoning their game plan in a series opener that was not as close as the score indicated. A major part of this match-up is supposed to hinge on Blues star goalie Jordan Binnington dueling with red-hot Bruins veteran Tuukka Rask. Rask looked rusty after zero games in 10 days, allowing two goals in the game’s first 21 minutes.

Binnington looked like a brick wall at the beginning. The Blues’ rookie caught the first shot of the biggest game of his life with the nonchalance of a backup catcher. He blocked a wide-open breakaway, then scrambled back to his net with the speed and agility of a spider retreating with its prey. He kicked pucks out of danger with a skate, chipped them from harm’s way with his blocker, and at one point found himself flat on his back, staring up at the six yellow championship banners hanging above his head as he flapped his arms and legs, pushing a puck he could not see from the crease. Binnington made saves that took your breath away, and then they took his power away. Just like that, he was just another goalie getting bruised by the Bruins. He allowed three goals before Marchand scored on an empty net late in the third, and both Marchand and Binnington knew the fourth could have come before Binnington hit the bench. Perhaps that’s what Marchand, as good of an instigator as he is a goal-scorer, reminded Binnington as he brushed by the

goalie late in the game. The Blues’ inability to control the puck and determination to give Boston advantages cut their shot total to 12 combined shots through the final two periods. Boston totaled 30 in that same span. “We obviously didn’t make it very hard on him tonight,” Brayden Schenn said about Rask. The opposite was true for Binnington, who tapped his blocker against each post multiple times after each goal, as if to remind his teammates he could use some help back there. None was coming. The yellow towels were turning. Dropkick Murphys was blaring, followed by a “We Want The Cup” encore. “I think the series is over,” a Boston-based reporter said into his live stream after the game. Here’s another positive. The Blues get better as they go. It’s been the case all postseason, and we should not expect anything different now. This is a best-ofseven series for a reason. The Blues’ game plan is sound, and they were just reminded how this will turn out if they stray.


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Goalie Jordan Binnington and defenseman Colton Parayko react after Boston tied the game 2-2 in the second period of Game 1 Monday at TD Garden in Boston.

Fans with opposing jerseys share a laugh before the start of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Joel Edmundson gives Bruins forward David Backes an extra shot to the head after being called for a high sticking penalty in the second period Monday in Boston.

Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko celebrate Schenn’s goal that gave the Blues a 1-0 lead Monday at TD Garden.

ivan Barbashev and Oskar Sundqvist slip on the ice after the opening puck drop Monday at TD Garden. The Blues recovered to take a 2-0 lead but couldn’t hold it in the Game 1 loss.

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05.28.2019 • Tuesday • M 1

sT. LOuIs POsT-dIsPaTCH • S7



Bettman confirms hand-pass mistake, but says reviews are limited BY TOM TIMMERMANN st. Louis Post-dispatch

BOSTON • NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday that when he saw the missed hand pass call in Game 3 of the Blues series with San Jose he thought “it would be good if I kept my head from exploding. I was unhappy.” But despite that feeling, Bettman said that while the league wanted to use review to get calls right, officials had to balance that with how far back they could go to review a call and without slowing down the game. “What if the hand pass happened a minute earlier and four or five other people touched the puck?” Bettman asked, “or it cleared the zone, or, or, or. You can roll it back endlessly, so again we’re going to have to come up with something, if we decide to extend replay, that defines it in a way that we can not ruin the game but get it right. “It’s not as simple as just saying just review everything because the essential element, the excitement, the flow of our game, would be inalterably interrupted if we reviewed everything. It’s just not possible, and as a starting point you can’t really make penalty calls that haven’t been made two minutes earlier. Everybody has got an opinion on this and I respect that and we want lots of input, but it’s not as easy as it looks.” Bettman said the call fulfilled a concern he takes into every playoff overtime game, that the game not be decided by a bad goal. “I was unhappy,” he said. “We all were. If you ask the officials on the ice, they weren’t happy. If you asked (director of officiating) Stephen Walkom, he was unhappy. If you asked (director of hockey operations) Colie Campbell and hockey operations, they were unhappy. I know (deputy commissioner) Bill (Daly) was unhappy. We were all unhappy. … It was unfortunate to say the least. It was clearly a missed call and it led to a goal. You don’t ever want to see a game decided like that.” Said Daly: “We have to go back and maybe come up with some common sense that improves the system. It failed in that circumstance.” On the other major issue facing the league, the ability of both sides to opt out of their labor agreement after the 2019-20 season, Bettman said he preferred labor peace. “When you think about where the


Blues goalie Jordan Binnington loses sight of the puck but gets help from Brayden Schenn in keeping it off the stick of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron (37) and out of the goal during the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night in Boston.

game is and the state of the business of the game and how it’s grown there is a lot to be said for labor peace,” he said. “That’s something we’re very focused on. If you asked the players’ association, and Don (Fehr) is here, he could list 10 or 15 things he’d like to change in the collective bargaining agreement. We could probably do the same thing, but ultimately this is going to come down to what’s most important.” Said Fehr a short while later: “I’ve been on this rodeo before. You get ready, you know what your deadlines are, you do your work, you talk to the other side, you end up doing what the right thing is to do at the time. But the notion that we know everything we need to do to make that decision now is, I suppose in the sum of all possible things we know it, but it’s not very obvious.”


Vince Dunn has traded in his full-face visor and mouthguard for a standard one as he gets closer to a return to action. “Pretty close,” coach Craig Berube said. “He’s still day to day.” Going back to his regular visor is a good sign for Dunn, said teammate Carl Gunnarsson. “It’s good to see,” said Gunnarsson, whose stall in the cramped TD Garden is next to Dunn’s. “The process has been pretty quick in the last couple days. He’s doing better.” Dunn took a puck to the mouth in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals and has been out since. One of the challenges of the impact was its effect on Dunn’s speech. Captain Alex Pietrangelo said Dunn is talking better.

“Yeah, his teeth are coming in,” Pietrangelo said. “He’s getting better every day.”


In the first of at least four times this record will be broken this postseason, Game 1 of the Final was the latest into spring the Blues have played a game. Previously, the latest the Blues had played was May 25, which was when the 2016 season ended on Game 6 of the Western Conference finals. In the first three years of the Blues’ existence, when they went to the Stanley Cup Final, the regular season ended a week earlier and the playoffs had one less round, so the latest they ever played was May 11. … The referees for the game were Kelly Sutherland and Steve Kozari. … The Blues flew 120 full-time employees to Boston for Games 1 and 2.




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M 1 • TUeSDAy • 05.28.2019

M A RY V I L L E . M A N Y CO N N E CT I O N S . O N E U.


FROM PLAYI NG THE GAME TO MANAGI NG I T Even if you’re no longer an athlete, you can still go pro. In the Rawlings Sport Business Management Program at Maryville University, you’ll study management, finance, marketing, operations, and communications. Everything needed to get you ready for the big game in the business of sports. To learn more, visit or call 800.627.9855. Maryville University is proud to support the St. Louis Blues and congratulates them on advancing to the Stanley Cup Final. LET’ S GO BLUES!

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