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Page 1

STA N LEY CU P FI NA L EDIT ION

TUESDAY • 06.04.2019 • $2.50

4

GAME 4

SERIES TIED 2-2

2

OH, REALLY!

Blues tie series behind O’Reilly’s two goals

LAURIE SKRIVAN • lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (90) celebrates his first-period goal Monday, about two hours before his third-period score was the winning goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

GAME 1

5/27 at Boston Bos 0 2 2 — 4 Stl 1 10 — 2 GWG: Kuraly

GAME 2

Wed. at Boston Stl 2 0 0 1 — 3 Bos 2 0 0 0 — 2 GWG: Gunnarsson

GAME 3

Sat. at Blues Bos 3 2 2 — 7 Stl 0 1 1 — 2 GWG: Kuraly

GAME 4

Mon. at Blues Stl 20 2 — 4 Bos 1 10 — 2 GWG: O’Reilly

GAME 5

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

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

GAME 7*

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

* IF NECESSARY

Subscribe for every cold, icy detail at STLtoday.com/subscribenow TODAY’S COMPLETE NEWSPAPER INSIDE STANLEY CUP FINAL EDITION Vol. 141, No. 155 ©2019

1 M


STA N LEY CU P FI NA L EDIT ION

TUESDAY • 06.04.2019 • $2.50

4

GAME 4

SERIES TIED 2-2

2

OH, REALLY!

Blues tie series behind O’Reilly’s two goals

LAURIE SKRIVAN • lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (90) celebrates his first-period goal Monday, about two hours before his third-period score was the winning goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

GAME 1

5/27 at Boston Bos 0 2 2 — 4 Stl 1 10 — 2 GWG: Kuraly

GAME 2

Wed. at Boston Stl 2 0 0 1 — 3 Bos 2 0 0 0 — 2 GWG: Gunnarsson

GAME 3

Sat. at Blues Bos 3 2 2 — 7 Stl 0 1 1 — 2 GWG: Kuraly

GAME 4

Mon. at Blues Stl 20 2 — 4 Bos 1 10 — 2 GWG: O’Reilly

GAME 5

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

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

GAME 7*

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

* IF NECESSARY

Subscribe for every cold, icy detail at STLtoday.com/subscribenow TODAY’S COMPLETE NEWSPAPER INSIDE STANLEY CUP FINAL EDITION Vol. 141, No. 155 ©2019

2 M


STANLEY CUP FINAL

S2 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

4

GAME 4

SERIES TIED 2-2

M 1 • TUeSDAy • 06.04.2019

2

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

The Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko slams the Bruins’ David Pastrnak into the boards during the third period of Game 4 on Monday night at the Enterprise Center.

ANOTHER FIRST IN CUP FINAL

Blues get a home win to even up series with Bruins BLUES, 4, BRUINS 2

BY JIM THOMAS St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A

s usual, the Blues haven’t taken the most direct route. But here they are, once again tied 2-2 in a best-of-seven series after four games. They were in the same spot against Winnipeg, Dallas and San Jose, their first three opponents in the playoffs. Luckily for the Blues, Saturday’s 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the Boston Bruins counted as only one loss. So here they are again after Monday’s 4-2 win over Boston before 18,805 at Enterprise Center. After the first home victory in St. Louis Stanley Cup Final history, it’s down to a best-of-three, with Game 5 on Thursday in Boston. After getting shelled for five goals in little more than 1 1/2 periods, goalie Jordan Binnington bounced back as he almost always has in his amazing rookie season. He is now 13-2 following games in which he has suffered a loss of any kind all season, and 7-2 under those circumstances in the playoffs. The Blues were bolstered by the return of Oskar Sundqvist from a onegame suspension and Vince Dunn from a six-game hiatus after taking a puck to the face in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against San Jose. It took only 43 seconds for the Blues to get on the scoreboard Monday, and that made it only the third-quickest goal scored by them in these playoffs. Jaden Schwartz scored 23 seconds into Game 6 against Winnipeg. Ivan Barbashev scored 35 seconds into Game 4 against San Jose. On Monday it was Ryan O’Reilly, with his fourth goal of the playoffs and his first since Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against San Jose. It was a lightning-quick wraparound by O’Reilly that got by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, with Game 3 lineup addition Zach Sanford getting the primary assist - his second assist in as many games. The secondary assist went to Dunn. Boston’s Charlie Coyle made it three goals in three games in this series, when he beat Binnington with a rebound shot of a Zdeno Chara shot at the 13:14 mark of the first. Coyle actually got a slight deflection of the shot, which made the rebound difficult to corral for Binnington. Vladimir Tarasenko broke the tie a little over two minutes later. Alex Pietrangelo’s shot from the high slot

Blues Boston

2 1

0 1

2 0

— —

4 2

First Period Blues: O’Reilly 4 (Dunn, Sanford), 0:43. Bos: Coyle 9 (Chara), 13:14. Blues: Tarasenko 11 (Schenn, Pietrangelo), 15:30. Penalties: None. Second Period Bos: Carlo 1 (Bergeron, Marchand), 14:19 (sh). Penalties: Coyle, BOS, (high sticking), 5:47; Parayko, STL, (delay of game), 8:31; Clifton, BOS, (illegal check to head), 13:53. Third Period Blues: O’Reilly 5 (Gunnarsson, Pietrangelo), 10:38. Blues: Schenn 4, 18:31. Penalties: Heinen, BOS, (tripping), 2:08; Bouwmeester, STL, (high sticking), 6:42; Krug, BOS, (slashing), 19:34; Bouwmeester, STL, (elbowing), 19:34. LAURIE SKRIVAN • lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz, center, celebrates an empty-net goal by Brayden Schenn, right, in the third period that sealed the 4-2 victory.

bounced away from Rask but Tarasenko swooped in instantly to bang home the rebound with 4:30 left in the first. It was Tarasenko’s 11th goal of these playoffs, just one behind Schwartz for the team lead, and his sixth in the last eight games. And since the start of the 2014 postseason, it was Tarasenko’s 33rd goal, second only to Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (34) in the NHL over that span. Just over three minutes into the second period, a Brayden Schenn shot deflected off Chara’s stick and hit the veteran Boston defenseman in the face. A bloody Chara left the ice with 16:53 left in the second and headed down the tunnel for treatment. He missed the rest of the second period, leaving the Bruins with only five defensemen. After allowing four power-play goals on just four power plays to Boston in Game 3, the Blues managed to kill off a power play when Colton Parayko was sent off for delay of game after flipping the puck out of play at the 8:31 mark of the second. Bolstered by that successful PK, the Blues took control, buzzing around

the Boston net and getting plenty of chances on Rask with an extended stretch of offensive zone time. It was during this stretch that Boston’s Connor Clifton was sent to the box for an illegal check to the head off Tarasenko. But Blues special teams, which have been brutal this postseason, took another ugly turn when Dunn couldn’t reach a puck near the St. Louis blue line. The result was a Patrice Bergeron shot that rebounded backside to Brando Carlo, who scored to tie the game 2-2 with 5:41 left in the second period. It was the fourth shorthanded goal allowed by the Blues this postseason, twice as many as any other team has allowed in this year’s playoff field. Each team had a power play early in the third period, Boston’s Danton Heinen for tripping Schwartz at the 2:08 mark and Jay Bouwmeester for a high-stick on Coyle at 6;42. But there were no goals. Not until O’Reilly struck again with the teams at even strength with 10:38 left to play. Pietrangelo shot from near the right point. The puck bounced off Rask’s pad with a thud heard in the building, and similar to Tarasenko’s goal in came O’Reilly for the rebound to give the Blues a 3-2 lead.

Shots on Goal 13 Blues Boston 9

12 10

13 4

— —

38 23

Power play Boston 0 of 2; Blues 0 of 3. Goaltenders Boston, Rask 14-7 (37 shots-34 saves). Blues, Binnington 14-9 (23-21). A: 18,805 (19,150). T: 2:33. Referees: Gord Dwyer, Chris Rooney. Linesmen: Derek Amell, Scott Cherrey.

Tempers flared when Jake DeBrusk’s shot down the slot was corralled by Binnington. But David Backes, quickly becoming a villain for Blues fans after five years as a captain here, came in hard on Binnington even though the play had been whistled dead. Pietrangelo came in from behind and with a bear hug, wrestled Backes off Binnington. That skirmish notwithstanding, the Blues did anything but sit back on their heels down the stretch. They hustled for zone time and kept Rask on his toes with several shots. They kept checking and checking, and then Schenn picked Clifton’s pocket in the neutral zone and buried an empty-net goal with 1:29 to play for a 4-2 Blues lead.

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STANLEY CUP FINAL

S2 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

4

GAME 4

SERIES TIED 2-2

M 2 • TUeSDAy • 06.04.2019

2

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

The Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko slams the Bruins’ David Pastrnak into the boards during the third period of Game 4 on Monday night at the Enterprise Center.

ANOTHER FIRST IN CUP FINAL

Blues get a home win to even up series with Bruins BLUES, 4, BRUINS 2

BY JIM THOMAS St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A

s usual, the Blues didn’t take the most direct route. But here they are, once again tied 2-2 in a best-of-seven series after four games. They were in the same spot against Winnipeg, Dallas and San Jose, their first three opponents in these playoffs. Luckily for the Blues, Saturday’s 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the Boston Bruins counted as only one loss. “It doesn’t matter if you lose 2-1 or 10-1,” Oskar Sundqvist said. “A loss is a loss and you need to regroup and refocus. And that’s what we did.” If the Blues have shown one thing since late January, when they began their second-half sprint to the playoffs, it’s never, ever count them out. So here they are again after Monday’s 4-2 triumph over Boston before 18,805 at Enterprise Center. Once again, it’s down to a best-of-three affair, with Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday in Boston. “Our team responds pretty well to things,” coach Craig Berube said. “They have all playoffs. We knew what we had to do tonight - the entire team. First of all, our discipline was a lot better. And second of all - (here he paused) - we were relentless tonight. We didn’t stop for 60 minutes. That’s how I looked at the game.” The Blues’ stars turned in big games, with two goals by Ryan O’Reilly, including the game-winner with 10:38 to play in the third period. Vladimir Tarasenko stayed hot with his 11th goal of this postseason and his sixth in his last eight games. Captain Alex Pietrangelo played his best game of the postseason. He had two assists, was plus-3 and was stout on defense. He logged 29 minutes 37 seconds of ice time. Yes, he played half the game. After getting shelled for five goals in little more than 1 1/2 periods Saturday, Jordan Binnington bounced back like he almost always does in his amazing rookie season. He is now 13-2 following games in which he has suffered a loss of any kind all season, and 7-2 under those circumstances in the playoffs. And Brayden Schenn added an empty-netter to clinch the victory with 1:29 to play. It all added up to more history, this time the first Stanley Cup Final victory on home ice in franchise history. “It’s been a long time, right?” Pietrangelo said. “The city’s been waiting a long time for this. We weren’t too proud of last game. ... But you could see the buzz around the city. Driving to the game, it’s pretty fun to see. You got the Cardinals guys sitting up there (in the

Blues Boston

2 1

0 1

2 0

— —

4 2

First Period Blues: O’Reilly 4 (Dunn, Sanford), 0:43. Bos: Coyle 9 (Chara), 13:14. Blues: Tarasenko 11 (Schenn, Pietrangelo), 15:30. Penalties: None. Second Period Bos: Carlo 1 (Bergeron, Marchand), 14:19 (sh). Penalties: Coyle, BOS, (high sticking), 5:47; Parayko, STL, (delay of game), 8:31; Clifton, BOS, (illegal check to head), 13:53. Third Period Blues: O’Reilly 5 (Gunnarsson, Pietrangelo), 10:38. Blues: Schenn 4, 18:31. Penalties: Heinen, BOS, (tripping), 2:08; Bouwmeester, STL, (high sticking), 6:42; Krug, BOS, (slashing), 19:34; Bouwmeester, STL, (elbowing), 19:34. Shots on Goal 13 Blues Boston 9

LAURIE SKRIVAN • lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz, center, celebrates an empty-net goal by Brayden Schenn, right, in the third period that sealed the 4-2 victory.

stands), too. “That’s what this city’s about. Great sports city. Underrated sports city in my opinion. The fans are great. They never gave up on us all year. Didn’t give up in the playoffs. We’ve been down. They just keep on cheering, keep on supporting us. And we’ll put on the best effort we can for them.” But those fans, and the Blues, want a little more. As the players headed off the ice, chants of “We Want the Cup!” cascaded down from the rafters at Enterprise. Two more Blues victories, and they’re there. “It’s anyone’s game now,” Sundqvist said. “We have to keep doing what we did today.” What they did Monday was avoid the penalty box. After racking up 17 penalties over Games 1-3, they had only three infractions in Game 4. They stayed disciplined, were more decisive with their puck movement, and forechecked like crazy. After dominating most of the second period, the Blues gave up a shorthanded goal - by Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo - with 5 minutes 41 seconds left in the period. That tied the game at 2-2. If this were October, November or December, more likely than not the Blues would have folded like a tent after

such a score. Those Blues had trouble holding leads, closing out games. They were “fragile” in the words of the coach and some of the players. But those Blues are a distant memory. These Blues are mentally tough, physically imposing, and borrowing Berube’s word - relentless. “That was a tough one to give up for sure,” Berube said of the shorthanded goal. “But I thought our bench was fine. I didn’t feel like there was any panic. “It was unfortunate that that happened. That second period was as good as I’ve seen us play for a while.” The third period wasn’t bad, either. The Blues outshot the Bruins 13-4 in the final period. For the second time in this series, Boston played most of the game with only five defensemen. This time veteran Zdeno Chara left in the second period after taking a puck to the face and did not return. The Blues’ Vince Dunn returned Monday after missing six games after taking a puck to his face in Game 3 of the San Jose series - the infamous “Hand Pass” game. Dunn had an assist on O’Reilly’s first goal of the game, which came on a lightning quick wraparound move just 43 seconds into the contest. But wouldn’t you know it, just a couple of shifts into the game, Dunn took a

12 10

13 4

— —

38 23

Power play Boston 0 of 2; Blues 0 of 3. Goaltenders Boston, Rask 14-7 (37 shots-34 saves). Blues, Binnington 14-9 (23-21). A: 18,805 (19,150). T: 2:33. Referees: Gord Dwyer, Chris Rooney. Linesmen: Derek Amell, Scott Cherrey.

high stick to the mouth (the other side) that left him with a bloody lip. “It sucks,” said Dunn, who said he was still shaking after the game in the excitement of playing his first Cup Final at age 22. Boston’s Charlie Coyle scored his third goal in as many games to tie it 1-1 later in the first, then came Tarasenko’s 33rd playoff goal since the start of the 2014 postseason. Only Alex Ovechkin (34) has more in the NHL. After Carlo’s shorty, O’Reilly’s fifth goal of the playoffs came on a rebound of a Pietrangelo shot from near the right point. Boston goalie Tuukka Rask described it as a “Ladies tee shot.” Not sure what that means. But Rask left some rebounds Monday, and O’Reilly made him pay on this one. “I’m just trying to do what I can to get to that backside,” O’Reilly said. “It was just kind of a great bounce, it happens sometimes, and then I just tried throwing it to the net. Sometimes you get those bounces and I was lucky to be on that end of it.”


06.04.2019 • Tuesday • M 1

STANLEY CUP FINAL

sT. LOuIs POsT-dIsPaTCH • S3


STANLEY CUP FINAL

S4 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

M 1 • TUESDAY • 06.04.2019

TOUGH JAWED

Blues show their resiliency, again, to even the series 2-2 BENJAMIN HOCHMAN St. Louis Post-Dispatch

T

his team. It’s just getting more and more emotional … and incredible … and believable. The St. Louis Blues responded, again. After a 7-2 embarrassment in Game 3, the Blues dominated the Boston Bruins in a 4-2 win in Game 4. Charles Glenn will sing again. The retiring anthem singer said before Monday’s Game 4 that “I’m bookin’ Sunday!” Well, the Blues will host Game 6 of the Cup Final on Sunday. The Stanley Cup will be in the house, though we won’t know until after Thursday’s Game 5 which team will have a chance to win it Sunday, in the series’ first possible elimination game. But first, Thursday’s Game 5 at Boston. The Blues have made the Final of the greatest postseason in sports into one heck of a series. This thing is tied, 2-2. If the Blues had lost, history would’ve perhaps doomed them – since the National Hockey League went to a best-ofseven Final format in 1939, there have been 27 instances that a team won a Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. In all 27 instances, that team won the Stanley Cup. Before Monday, the last time the Bruins lost a road game was in Game 3 – not of last series, but the series before, at Columbus, on April 30. And goalie Jordan Binnington, St. Louis’ save savior, is now 7-2 in the postseason in starts after a loss. “I think he’s just so even-keel,” the Blues’ Ryan O’Reilly said of the goalie. “No matter what the situation is, winning or losing, you see him and he’s focused and on to the next. That’s something we all admire about him, and he leads the way in that.” O’Reilly was the hero with two goals on the night, but it was a team effort. They’ve talked all spring about how the hockey they play is “relentless,” but even that word doesn’t accurately describe the avalanche that was the St. Louis Blues to start Game 4. In just 43 seconds, there was Ryan O’Wraparound. Just a “massive” goal for O’Reilly, to use another Blues word to describe the bigness of things. Massive. The whole goal of Game 4 was to create time in the offensive zone – sustaining a forecheck and wearing down the defense. And in the stat category Corsi, which accumulates shots, missed shots and blocked shots, the Blues had 22 to the Bruins’ 12 in the first period. The buttons pushed by coach Craig Berube seemed to be the right one. He moved Zach Sanford up to the second line, and Sanford responded. The kid who grew up a Bruins fan tormented Boston. He tallied an assist on the first goal but also unleashed forechecking fury. He tallied three hits in the first period and was a visual presence for St. Louis. And the return of both Oskar Sundqvist (suspension) and Vince Dunn (jaw) were felt instantly as both men played inspiring hockey from their first shifts. Sunny was slammin’ Bruins into the boards early and often. In the first period alone, the fourth line of Sundqvist, Ivan Barbashev and Alexander Steen combined for 12 hits. The Bruins whole team had 16. Dunn was a speedster all night. “He moves the puck as good as anybody on our team from our own end out transition-wise,” Berube told reporters. “And Dunn has the ability of doing high-end things in the offensive zone sometimes. Not all the time, but there’s just times where he can do things that wow you a little bit and make a great play, or score a goal from nothing. He can make something from nothing a lot of time in those areas.” Dunn was a huge emotional intangible of Game 4. And he’s more of an offensive threat that Robert Bortuzzo, though, of course, Bortuzzo has scored two memorable goals this postseason (Dunn has two goals and five assists in 16 playoff games). And his return says everything you need to know about this “dedication to team”

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington stopped 21 of 23 Boston shots Monday, bouncing back from his rough start in the 7-2 loss in Game 3 on Saturday in which he was pulled for the first time this season.

COLTER PETERSON • P-D

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara takes a puck to the face after it deflected off his stick on a shot from Brayden Schenn on Monday at Enterprise Center.

that Berube talks about. Any impact to Dunn’s jaw could be overwhelmingly painful … and dangerous … and seasonending, but Dunn was out there Monday night. And without a mask covering his jaw. The stretch of the game the Blues so wish they could’ve capitalized on was a stretch of about three minutes beginning about the nine-minute mark of the third period. It was on the heels of when the Blues, amazingly, killed a penalty – and on the kill, Alexander Steen blocked a shot and O’Reilly nearly scored a short-handed goal. And then, from 9:00 to 6:00, it became impossibly loud inside the Enterprise Center. Insanity. The Blues kept the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches, fatiguing the Bruins. Scoring chance after scoring chance, and the crowd crescendo’d over and over. But … but … the Blues could not score. No problem though – at 6:07, Boston’s Connor Clifton committed a penalty. That’s when the infuriating, inexplicable twist occurred – Boston scored a short-handed goal. Jordan Binnington couldn’t corral a shot and Brandon Carlo swatted in the rebound. Not only did the Blues increase their 2-1 lead … but they allowed the Bruins to tie the game up. But then – O’Reilly scored again. And Brayden Schenn netted an empty-net goal. Bedlam. Benjamin Hochman @hochman on Twitter bhochman@post-dispatch.com

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LET’S GO

BLUES

TEAM PHYSICIANS for the ST. LOUIS BLUES and YOU


STANLEY CUP FINAL

S4 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

M 2 • TUESDAY • 06.04.2019

MAKE IT HAPPEN, CAP’N Pietrangelo’s leadership on and off ice was on display in Game 4

BENJAMIN HOCHMAN St. Louis Post-Dispatch

T

hey were Blues before they were Blues – pre-teens on the Toronto Blues, same jerseys and everything as that NHL team south of the Canadian border. Alex Pietrangelo and Michael Del Zotto. Friends not just for years, but for decades. “Seeing the performance he had tonight, I’m really proud of him – he did what captains do,” said Del Zotto, Petro’s first mate. In Monday’s Game 4 against Boston, Pietrangelo’s performance epitomized the Blues in the biggest game in franchise history. It was a triumph. The bearded captain tallied two assists and was plusthree on the night. He played ferocious defense and was part of the pre-game “calmness,” which coach Craig Berube described as the emotion that led the Blues to properly approach Game 4. Fellow defenseman Del Zotto hasn’t dressed for the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final, but he was beside “Petro” on Sunday, sitting by the pool at the Pietrangelo home as the families mingled. “We spoke last night, we spoke again this morning – I told him to just go out and play his game, and he did that tonight – he was incredible,” Del Zotto said. “That’s what the best players in this league do. That’s what captains do in games that matter, and when the game is on the line.” And so, Charles Glenn will sing again. The retiring anthem singer proclaimed before Monday’s Game 4 that “I’m bookin’ Sunday!” Well, the Blues will host Game 6 of the Cup Final on Sunday – though the 2-2 series first shifts back to Boston for Thursday’s Game 5. The following is flirting with the inexplicable, but here goes – if the Blues win Game 5 in Boston, they will host Game 6 with a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Pietrangelo would be the first to lift the chalice. But let’s let dreams drift and first focus on how the Blues saved the season. Because since the NHL went to a bestof-seven Final format in 1939, there have been 27 instances that a team won a Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. In all 27, that team won the Stanley Cup. Oh, and the Blues lost Game 3 by a football score of 7-2. “Things don’t really seen to faze us,” Pietrangelo said of this team, once with the fewest points in the league. “Obviously, last game got out of hand and we weren’t too proud of that. … But we use everybody, and it puts teams on their heels. And we get a lot of momentum out of that.” They’ve talked all spring about how the hockey the Blues play is “relentless,” but even that word doesn’t accurately describe the avalanche that was the Blues to start Game 4. The goal, of course, was goals, but to get there the Blues needed to create time in the offensive zone. And in just 43 seconds, there was Ryan O’Wraparound. Pietrangelo had the assists on the team’s second and third goals, both from smart shots. He toe-dragged past a defender, something out of a video game, and ripped a shot that was rebounded by Vladimir Tarasenko. No. 91’s goal gave the Blues a 2-1 lead. Later, to get the score to 3-2, Pietrangelo took a shot that goalie Tuukka Rask said was a “Ladies tee slap shot. Couldn’t control it. Rebound, goal.” Pietrangelo brilliantly took a glimpse before the shot to see where O’Reilly was. “Petro” wasn’t shooting to score. “We’ve been through a lot this year,” Blues forward Zach Sanford said. “When we’re rolling four lines and playing fiveon-five, I don’t think there are many teams that can stick with us. It’s one line after the next, anyone can score, anyone can make a big play. And we all have confidence in each other to do that. It’s a lot easier to play when you know every guy can make the plays they need to. It’s a lot

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Linesmen separated Boston’s David Backes (42) and Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo after a scrum in front of the Bruins goal during third-period play Monday at Enterprise Center. The two have said they will resume their close friendship after the series is complete.

COLTER PETERSON • P-D

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara takes a puck to the face after it deflected off his stick on a shot from Brayden Schenn on Monday at Enterprise Center.

more fun that way, too.” How much fun was Monday night? Now the Blues have won a Stanley Cup Final game. First ever. “The city has been waiting a long time for this,” Pietrangelo said. “You could see the buzz around the city, driving to the game, it’s a pretty fun scene, having the Cardinals guys up there, too. It’s what this city is about, right? – a great sports city, underrated sports city, and they never gave up on us all year. They didn’t give up on us in the playoffs. They keep on cheering, keep on supporting us. And we’ll give the best effort we can for them.” This season has been unreal. General manager Doug Armstrong called out the team leadership. Some fans clamored for Pietrangelo to lose the “C.” Fewest points in the NHL on January 2. And now, it’s 2-2 in the Cup Final, and Pietrangelo is playing the best hockey of his life – and the most hockey on his team (29:37 logged in Game 4). “To be in this moment together?” Del Zotto said. “That’s the special part of our relationship. We’ve known each other for 20-plus years and we’ve been through so much together. We played minor hockey, summer hockey, drafted in the same years in the OHL and the NHL.” And now, the old Blues are Blues again – and with a chance to be the first Blues team to win the Stanley Cup. Benjamin Hochman @hochman on Twitter bhochman@post-dispatch.com

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LET’S GO

BLUES

TEAM PHYSICIANS for the ST. LOUIS BLUES and YOU


STANLEY CUP FINAL

06.04.2019 • TUESDAY • M 1

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • S5

A TIMELY TWO

O’Reilly finds his scoring touch when the team needs him most BEN FREDERICKSON St. Louis Post-Dispatch

H

ours before two pucks launched from the stiff stick of Ryan O’Reilly became the biggest moments in the biggest Blues win until the next one, the iron man stood in front of his Enterprise Center locker and tried to explain how his hockey team has more bounceback than Flubber. “We have been able to reset quick,” O’Reilly said. “We know we need a response back. It was a disappointing Game 3, but we have been in this situation before. This is a huge game. This is the only one that matters to us. Come out tonight, dictate and stick to your game. We know we have to be better in areas. We have to be more disciplined and not give their power play the ice time. It makes the game too easy for them. We know the adjustments we have to make. Our plan is to leave it out there and put ourselves in the best position.” How’s this for position? O’Reilly’s bounce-back Blues are shipping up to Boston tied 2-2 in this Stanley Cup Final thanks to Monday’s 4-2 win. They won another Game 4 after another lost Game 3. It’s happened before this postseason. You know how those series ended. Looking back, it was like O’Reilly knew. All we knew was that he was due. O’Reilly, the Blues’ steadfast scorer during a rags-to-riches regular season, had not scored in eight consecutive postseason games. And he had scored just one postseason goal in the Blues’ last 17 postseason games. Heck, he only had three goals all postseason, period. Talk about a timely two. An Enterprise Center crowd that was sparking with energy before a lopsided Game 3 loss arrived for Game 4 with a more nervous energy. Saturday night was a party that ended early. Monday was a business trip that turned into a party. “Game 3 here, a lot of emotion,” Blues coach Craig Berube said before the contest. “Being at home and everything. The crowd, and all that. There was a different feel for it. I felt today that we are calm again and in that spot.”

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Blues center Ryan O’Reilly scores the first goal 43 seconds into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, a wrap-around that snuck between Tuukka Rask’s left skate and the post.

There is no calmer player than No. 90 in Blue. An individual postseason that has offered him plenty of frustration in terms of goal scoring and shaky faceoffs has at times raised questions about his health and workload. He’s skated through the noise, quietly distributing assists along the way to Monday night. Then patience paid off. O’Reilly’s breathtaking wrap-around goal in the first period happened so fast the slow-motion replays had a hard time catching it. He caught Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask sliding and beat

the closest Bruin by the slimmest fraction of a second. David Perron’s pass to Vince Dunn promoted a Dunn shot that reminded us why Berube is happy to have his now-healed weapon back on the ice. Zach Sanford, whom Berube wisely stuck with, redirected the shot toward Rask. No luck. The crowd exhaled. But O’Reilly, who won the faceoff that set up the play, turned the rebound into a goal in a blink. We hardly ever see raw emotion from him, but let the record show he bellowed, so much so that he followed the shout up by clamping his hand down on his own head, as if he

was trying to force his mouth shut. What followed was a reminder of why this series is deadlocked, a hint that anyone who assumes it’s over before the Stanley Cup is lifted is guessing. The Bruins answered, thanks to their impressive depth, when third-line center Charlie Coyle defied Jordan Binnington’s splits during a put-back on a shot by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who was bloodied by a puck off a stick later in the game, and is a question mark moving forward. The Blues reclaimed the lead, thanks to superstar Vladimir Tarasenko, whose bull-rush of the net was exactly the kind of plays Berube challenged him to make after a quiet Game 1 of a Western Conference finals that feels like years ago now. The Bruins tied once more, thanks to another dreaded power-play goal. Wait. What’s that? The Blues were on the power play? Oh, yes, that again. The Blues stressed limiting the Bruins’ power play in Game 4, and whatever adjustments they made seemed to work. The Bruins’ two power plays, both of which were fruitless, marked the fewest in any game this series. And yet the Bruins still managed to score a goal on special teams. Brandon Carlo’s short-handed second-period goal, the only of that period, tied the game and stirred a sense of dread. The Blues allowed seven shorthanded goals during the regular season. That’s seven in 82 games. This postseason? They have now allowed four. Hard to win when that happens. That’s the thought another celebrity-packed soldout crowd was chewing on entering the third period. Once again, the Blues needed a reset. They needed a response. It came 10 minutes and 38 seconds in, when O’Reilly turned captain Alex Pietrangelo’s rebound into the gamewinning goal. Brayden Schenn’s empty-net insurance was on its way. Watch the replay. O’Reilly sees it coming. He splits David Backes and Charlie McAvoy to make it happen, watching Pietrangelo as he made his move. “LOUDER,” flashed on the Enterprise Center big screen, followed by a shot of O’Reilly encouraging fans to make some noise. They were, thanks to him.

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STANLEY CUP FINAL

06.04.2019 • TUESDAY • M 2

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • S5

A TIMELY TWO

O’Reilly finds his scoring touch when the team needs him most BEN FREDERICKSON St. Louis Post-Dispatch

H

is will to win was questioned. Remember? When the Blues traded for Buffalo’s Ryan O’Reilly 11 months ago, his first assignment was powering through misconceptions about his spirit. Some thought the years of losing and lack of postseasons had broken the Sabre. An old quote about him sometimes losing his love of the game followed him like a cloud. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said he needed just one phone call with O’Reilly to feel his fire. It flared during his first public comment as a Blue. “They’re trying to win right now,” O’Reilly said on that July teleconference. “That’s something I want to be a part of.” Part of? Try the most important part. “He has been our best, most consistent, player all year,” Blues coach Craig Berube said after two pucks launched from O’Reilly’s stiff stick and a flurry of plays in between became defining moments in Monday night’s series-tying 4-2 win against the Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. It was as if O’Reilly saw it coming. Hours before another celebritypacked Enterprise Center crowd arrived, he was a voice of calm in a city gripped with worry following the Blues’ 7-2 flop in Game 3. “We have been able to reset quick,” O’Reilly said Monday morning. “We know we need a response back. It was a disappointing Game 3, but we have been in this situation before. This is a huge game. This is the only one that matters to us. We know the adjustments we have to make. Our plan is to leave it out there and put ourselves in the best position.” O’Reilly and his bounce-back Blues are shipping up to Boston tied 2-2 in the best-of-seven series. There are worse positions. O’Reilly, the Blues’ steadfast scorer during a rags-to-riches regular season, had not scored in eight consecutive postseason games. And he had scored just one postseason goal in the Blues’ last 17 postseason games. Heck, he only had three goals all postseason, period.

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Blues center Ryan O’Reilly scores the first goal 43 seconds into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, a wrap-around that snuck between Tuukka Rask’s left skate and the post.

Talk about a timely two. An individual postseason that has offered him plenty of frustration in terms of goal scoring and shaky faceoffs has at times raised questions about his health and workload. In case you weren’t aware, O’Reilly is playing hurt. The details are few and far between, as is common at this time of year. But he has skated through pain and the noise about his play, distributing assists while continuing to show the work ethic that has become the team standard since the day he arrived. Monday night was work ethic rewarded. O’Reilly’s breathtaking wrap-around goal on a Zach Sanford rebound in

the first period happened so fast the slow-motion replays hardly caught it. He caught Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask sliding and beat the closest Bruin by the slimmest fraction of a second. We hardly ever see raw emotion from him, but for a brief moment, he bellowed, so much so that he clamped his hand down on his head, as if he was trying to force his mouth shut. What followed was a reminder of why this series is deadlocked. The Bruins answered, thanks to their impressive depth, when third-line center Charlie Coyle defied Jordan Binnington’s splits during a put-back on a shot by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who

was bloodied by a puck off a stick later in the game. The Blues reclaimed the lead, thanks to superstar Vladimir Tarasenko, whose bull-rush to the net was exactly the kind of play Berube challenged him to make after a quiet Game 1 of a Western Conference finals that feels like years ago now. The Bruins tied it once more, thanks to another dreaded power-play goal. Wait. What’s that? The Blues were on the power play? Oh, yes, that again. The Blues stressed limiting the Bruins’ power play after they were torched by it in Game 3, and whatever adjustments they made seemed to work in Game 4. The Bruins’ two power plays, both of which were fruitless, marked the fewest in any game this series. And yet, the Bruins still managed to score a goal on special teams. Brandon Carlo’s shorthanded second-period goal tied the game and stirred a sense of dread. The Blues allowed seven shorthanded goals during the regular season. That’s seven in 82 games. This postseason? They have allowed four. Hard to win when that happens. Once again, the Blues needed a reset, a response. Once again, O’Reilly arrived. He burned Rask on the meaty rebound he gave up after an Alex Pietrangelo slapshot. “Great bounce,” O’Reilly said. “I was lucky to be on that end of it.” It wasn’t that easy. Watch the replay of the shot. O’Reilly saw it coming. He split David Backes and Charlie McAvoy to make it happen, tracking Pietrangelo as he made his move. Watch the replay of the game. O’Reilly was everywhere. The possession that led to his first goal was created by a faceoff he won. His five shots on goal tied his postseason-high. The definitive moment of one of those fizzled Bruins power plays was a short-handed breakaway by O’Reilly, a time-killing, tone-setting effort that included a hard shot to Rask’s chest and a near-goal on the one-handed put-back attempt that followed. “He makes all of us better,” Tarasenko said. “His work ethic in games, his attitude — the way he responds and practices and the way he’s been in the locker room, he’s unbelievable.” O’Reilly’s will was stronger than anyone knew 11 months ago. The Blues would not be two wins away from a parade without it.

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STANLEY CUP FINAL

S6 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

BRIAN MUNOZ • bmunoz@post-dispatch.com

Jacob Lewis, of St. Louis, shows off his wrestling championship belt adorned with a Blues logo sticker at a watch party Monday prior to Game 4.

BRIAN MUNOZ • bmunoz@post-dispatch.com

Even old-timers like Pierre Laclede were bleeding blue at the watch party and rally on Market Street before the Blues beat the Bruins 4-2 to even the series.

M 1 • TUeSDAy • 06.04.2019

BRIAN MUNOZ • bmunoz@post-dispatch.com

Adam Hucke, Funky Butt Brass Band trumpet player and vocalist, parades outside of city hall before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

SCENES FROM GAME 4

LAURIE SKRIVAN • lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Bosto’s Charlie McAvoy and Blues winger David Perron battle for the puck during the first period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.

COLTER PETERSON • cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

Blues forward Sammy Blais is checked into the boards by Boston’s David Backes during the first period of the Stanley Cup Final Game 4 on Monday at Enterprise Center.

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J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Boston’s Connor Clifton receives one of Alexander Steen’s five hits during Game 4. The Blues outhit the Bruins 44-41 Monday at Enterprise Center.


S6 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

STANLEY CUP FINAL

M 2 • TUeSDAy • 06.04.2019

SCENES FROM GAME 4

DAVIS CARSON • dcarson@post-dispatch.com

Blues fans enjoy Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winning goal while watching on a jumbo screen at a watch party on Market Street on Monday night.

LAURIE SKRIVAN • lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Bruins winger David Pastrnak (88) clashes with Zach Sanford of the Blues in front of Ryan O’Reilly during first-period action Monday at Enterprise Center. The Blues outhit Boston 44-41 in a physical Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

BRIAN MUNOZ • bmunoz@post-dispatch.com

Adam Hucke, Funky Butt Brass Band trumpet player and vocalist, parades outside of city hall before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

BRIAN MUNOZ • bmunoz@post-dispatch.com

Even old-timers like Pierre Laclede were bleeding blue at the watch party and rally on Market Street before the Blues beat the Bruins 4-2 to even the series.

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Ryan O’Reilly scores the winning goal past Boston goalie Tuukka Rask on a rebound from a shot by Alex Pietrangelo with 9:22 remaining in the third period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Blues players (from left) Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly and Colton Parayko celebrate Schenn’s empty-net goal Monday at Enterprise Center.

Subscribe for every cold, icy detail at STLtoday. com/subscribenow

J.B. FORBES • jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Brayden Schenn fires the puck at the Bruins’ empty net and scores late in the third period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.


STANLEY CUP FINAL

06.04.2019 • Tuesday • M 1

sT. LOuIs POsT-dIsPaTCH • S7

NOTEBOOK

DUNN RETURNS TO LINEUP

Thomas misses third game with wrist injury; Bortuzzo is scratched BY TOM TIMMERMANN st. Louis Post-dispatch

Vince Dunn was waiting for a sign to say he was ready to get back into the lineup. He finally got one. Out almost three weeks after taking a puck to the face in Game 3 of the San Jose series, Dunn returned to action Monday for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. His return knocked Robert Bortuzzo out of the lineup on the blueline. “I just wanted to feel myself getting used to the speed of things,” Dunn said Monday morning. “The more I practiced, the faster I was catching up to things. So I gotta feel like myself out there, I want to be able to be effective and I want to be the player that I was (before). “Being away from the game for so long takes a toll on you. So (Sunday) was good, I got a lot of touches in, and this morning again I felt good out there.” Dunn, who said he was still in discomfort and has wires in his mouth (“a lot of soft food,” he said), was partnered with Carl Gunnarsson and worked with the second power-play unit. Joel Edmundson was back with Alex Pietrangelo. Zach Sanford, who did well filling in during Game 3 while Oskar Sundqvist served a one-game suspension, stayed in the lineup, moving up to Ryan O’Reilly’s line with David Perron, in a reunion of a combination used early in the season. Sammy Blais, who had been on that line, moved into what had been the Robert Thomas/Robby Fabbri spot on Tyler Bozak’s line. Thomas missed his third game with a wrist injury, and Fabbri was scratched. Sundqvist returned to the fourth line. “It was different than any other game obviously,” Sanford said of Game 3. “We were sitting on the bench for a while there for the national anthem and after that and with the crowd, and the nerves built up a little bit. Once I got out there, got a couple hits, got a couple shifts, I felt pretty comfortable.”

HUGHES IN THE HOUSE

The NHL brought some of the top prospects for the draft into town Monday. Among them was Jack Hughes, considered a likely candidate to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. At one point, when the Blues were at the bottom of the standings, the Blues looked like they would be part of a Lose For Hughes push, as a team contending for the first pick.

LAURIE SKRIVAN • lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Blues defenseman Vince Dunn (29) tries to block a shot from Boston’s Charlie Coyle in the second period of Game 4 on Monday at Enterprise Center. Dunn assisted on the first goal of the game while playing with wires in his mouth from a recent injury.

“I had a couple interviews with like St. Louis talk radio,” said Hughes, who also spoke to the Post-Dispatch back then. “Now, I think they’re picking 62nd, right?” By reaching the Stanley Cup Final, the Blues’ first pick would be either 30th or 31st. But since they traded their first pick to Buffalo in the O’Reilly deal, the Blues, barring a trade, won’t draft until the end of the second round, when their pick will be 61st or 62nd overall. Hughes also had the chance to visit with old friend Thomas, who he knew growing up in Ontario. But the wrist injury kep Thomas from playing Monday. “It (stinks) for Robby,” Hughes said. “You work so hard all year, this is what you dream of playing for, the Stanley

Cup Final. He was playing really well. Hopefully he’ll be back later on in the series.” The NHL draft is June 21 and 22 in Vancouver. The NHL combine, in Buffalo, concluded Saturday. With the team in the Stanley Cup Final, the Blues moved their amateur staff meetings to St. Louis rather than in the Buffalo area.

FLEETING FAME

Dunn drew a crowd in the Blues dressing room Monday morning, while Gunnarsson, the hero of Game 2, talked to two reporters a few stalls down on Monday morning. “What was that, three days ago?” Gunnarsson said. “Life’s short. Boom. Done.”

NOTES

For a few years, the Blues have talked about practices being at “the Mills,” even though the mall where they practice hasn’t been called St. Louis Mills for years (it’s now the St. Louis Outlet Mall and soon will cease to exist). The Blues have sold naming rights to their new practice facility in Maryland Heights to Centene – it will officially be the Centene Community Ice Center. … Chris Rooney and Gord Dwyer were the referees. … Among those in the house were Wayne Gretzky, Jon Hamm (again) and Nelly, as well as several Cardinals taking advantage of an off day, including Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt.

Here’s to

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STANLEY CUP FINAL

M 1 • TUeSDAy • 06.04.2019

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.

S8 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

FROM PLAYI N G THE GAME TO MANAGI N G 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 maryville.edu 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 BLU ES!

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