Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final went to the home team, as the Bruins erupted with four unanswered goals over the last two periods to win 4-2 and take a 1-0 series lead. With another game coming up Wednesday night in Boston, here are some of the main takeaways from Game 1 and how it can impact Game 2.
Generally speaking, whoever controls the puck more has more shots, which typically leads to more goals. Boston dominated in that regard on Monday, blasting 38 shots at the Blues net and scoring four goals in the game. To put that into perspective, St. Louis managed just 20 shots on goal for the whole game. The biggest difference in shots came in the second period, where Boston outshot St. Louis 18-3. The Bruins also dominated in the dot, winning 54.4 percent of the face-offs throughout the night. The battle for possession will be something to follow all during the game on Wednesday night.
Power Play Chances
One of the biggest keys for the Blues going into this series was to stay out of the box and avoid Boston’s playoff-best power play. Unfortunately, St. Louis found themselves in trouble, with five minor penalties that each put the Bruins on a power play. While Boston failed in four of those chances, their one goal with the extra attacker was a big one, as Charlie McAvoy fired a shot past Binnington to tie the game at 2 and take back all of the momentum. The Blues will have to play more-disciplined hockey to avoid handing the Bruins chance after chance.
Another key for the series going in was the performance of each team’s role players. So far, that’s another victory going in the direction of Boston. The Bruins managed just one total point from their first line, an empty-netter from Brad Marchand. But that didn’t matter, as Sean Kuraly scored two points, including the game-winning goal in the third, and Connor Clifton scored as well. The Blues managed to get goals from Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko, but in Game 2, they will need to generate more offense from their role players on the bottom-six.
Game 2 is Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston. The line combinations will likely look the same as Game 1, but St. Louis may get a boost if Vince Dunn is able to play. The defenseman has missed the last four games with an undisclosed upper-body injury but is listed as day-to-day.