Torey Krug flew down the ice with his helmet off, similar to his huge, awful predecessors on the Boston barrier from the days of Eddie Shore and Bobby Orr.
He arranged St. Louis center Robert Thomas and thumped him off his skates, charming the crowd and sending an obvious message to rest of the Blues: The Bruins had woken up from their 11-day layoff, and they were prepared to battle for the Stanley Cup.
“I think it gave our team energy, and that’s all you’re trying to do out there,” Krug said after Boston rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat St. Louis 4-2 in Game 1 on Monday night. “Hopefully it gave the guys a boost on the bench.”
Sean Kuraly scored to break a third-period tie and helped on another goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 18 shots to enable the Bruins to finish their comeback from a two-goal shortage. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night.
Forty-nine years after Bobby Orr flew through the air to beat the Blues for the 1970 NHL title, the Bruins got goals from defensemen Connor Clifton and Charlie McAvoy.
Brad Marchand included an empty netter with around three minutes left, however the unofficial clincher came when Krug got up off the ice in the wake of losing his helmet in a tussle with David Perron before the Boston net.
“You know, you don’t want to mess with that guy,” Clifton said. “Don’t make that guy mad.”
Jordan Binnington made 34 saves for the Blues, who haven’t been returned to the final since getting swept by Boston in 1970. Yet, it was Boston which was battling with a long layoff — in any event from the get-go.
Idle since May 16, when they finished their sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins spotted St. Louis a two-goal lead before snapping out of their slumber.
Brayden Schenn made it 1-0 lead midway through the first period on a third-chance shot. In the first minute of the second, David Pastrnak got sloppy behind the Bruins’ net and Schenn was there once more, this opportunity to pass it to Vladimir Tarasenko in the slot to make it 2-0.
“I think we can be even better, and we have to be,” Perron said.
Bruins mentor Bruce Cassidy conceded that the long layoff since the Eastern Conference finals may have left his group rusty.
“The time off, you don’t have your edge yet to battle,” he said. “We weren’t too happy with the way the game was going. We weren’t playing our game. We weren’t playing to our standard. And I think after the second goal, that kind of woke us up.”
The Bruins went on to outshoot the Blues 18-3 in the second period, completing the game with a 38-20 edge.
“I was pretty much a spectator after that,” Rask said.
Only 76 seconds after Tarasenko’s goal, Clifton tipped in a pass from Kuraly to cut the deficiency to one. What’s more, amidst the second, on the Bruins’ fourth power play of the game, McAvoy came straight up the middle and wristed it past Binnington’s glove to tie it.
It was as yet integrated five minutes with the third when Noel Acciari, to Binnington’s left side, made a turn move and cleared the puck over the wrinkle to Kuraly. He steadied it with his skate and after that poked it in with his stick to give the Bruins their first lead of the game.
“In the second period we stopped skating, turned it over and gave them momentum,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “I thought they were the better team after that.”
Natalia Forrest is a singer/songwriter and guitarist. She is also fantasy author. She is noted for her distinctive style. She writes in a humorous way: Her characters never walk, they clump along, or when someone complains (in a flying machine) that flight is impossible, the other characters agree and show her why she’s right! What’s more she works as a free lance author on Stats Globe.