NHL Finals Game 5 Preview: Bruins Vs. Blues – Time Start, Channel, Stats, Odds
In Game 3, The Bruins throttled the Blues 7-2 in a disappointing performance with over 14 penalties called against them. In Game 4, the Blues learned from their past mistakes and controlled their emotions to help them even the series.
The Blues scored just 43 seconds into the first period in Game 4, with Ryan O’Reilly scoring. Later in the first period, Vladimir Tarasenko made it two, scoring his 11th goal this postseason.
O’Reilly scored another when the Bruins played with an empty net, making it his night after scoring just three playoff goals coming into this game. Captain Alex Pietrangelo assisted the Blues twice, and defenseman put in quite the shift in Game 4, racking up almost 30 minutes of gametime. Braydon Schenn scored the go-ahead third goal to give the Blues the lead in the third period.
The Bruins’ goalkeeper Tuukka Rask looked unprotected for the first time this series. This game was the first time he allowed three goals in regulation time since the conference semi-finals against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rask has continued to be a rock in the heart of the defense, and the Bruins should have limited concern about his Game 4 performance going into the rest of the series.
The Bruins also suffered casualties in Game 4, losing captain Zdeno Chara after getting hit with a puck to the face in the second period. He was sidelined for the remainder of the game and could possibly miss Game 5 back in Boston. This could be a major issues for the Bruins’ back line as one of their top defensemen, Matt Grzelcyk, is still currently in concussion protocol after being hit by Blues Center Oskar Sundqvist in Game 2. If Chara is out for Game 5, the Bruins will have to look to their reserves for replacements. The 42-year-old feels he is ready to play, but team doctors recommended that he should stay out indefinitely, according to ESPN.
“He’s a guy who wants to be out there. He wants to battle and be with the guys, Bruins’ David Backes said about Chara, according to ESPN. “He wasn’t gonna miss that opportunity. He doesn’t get back on the ice, but he’s a warrior. If there’s any chance for him to be back, he’ll be back.”
Brandon Carlo and Charlie Coyle provided the Bruins with two goals, but Blues goalie Jordan Binnington played a significant role for the Blues, bouncing back after his inadequate Game 3 performance. The rookie Binnington will have to continue to play an important role in this Blues’ team if they hope to stop this Bruins’ fast-paced front line. The experience is still in favor for the Bruins, but the Blues have that underdog edge that can sometimes propel teams to the Cup.
With the series tied 2-2, we could be looking at a fun rest of the series with emotions packed high. Game 5 will be back at the TD Garden in Boston on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. EST, and will air on NBC.