Blues and Bruins to face off for Stanley Cup

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final gets underway on Monday in Boston

Brayton Wilson
May 22, 2019 - 7:29 am

Photo: Joe Puetz - USA TODAY Sports

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It will be a rematch 49 years in the making.

The Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues are set to meet in 2019 Stanley Cup Final for the right to lift Lord Stanley's Cup as National Hockey League champions.

The last time both of these teams met in the Stanley Cup Final came back in 1970 when the Bruins swept the Blues in four games. The iconic moment of that series, and maybe one of the most iconic moments in NHL history, is Bobby Orr's overtime goal (also known as "The Flight") in Game 4 of the series to help clinch the series win for Boston.

The Bruins punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday with a 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. Boston's win earned them a berth in the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in this decade. In 2011, the Bruins went on to win their first Stanley Cup since 1972 with a seven-game series victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Two years later, the Bruins returned to the Final, but ended up losing in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs saw the Bruins go through a seven-game series with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Wild Card round, followed by a 4-2 series win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Conference Semifinal round.

Tuukka Rask has been very dominant for the Bruins in the Stanley Cup playoffs, posting a 12-5 record in 17 games with a 1.84 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. He's also posted two shutouts in this year's playoffs, which have both come in elimination games to advance to the next round.

Leading the way offensively for the Bruins in the playoffs has been forward Brad Marchand with seven goals and 18 points in 17 games played. Right behind Marchand is his linemate David Pastrnak, who has scored seven goals and 15 points in the same amount of games. Those two make up one of the most lethal lines in the NHL with Patrice Bergeron centering Boston's top line.

During the regular season, the Bruins finished with a 49-24-9 record and ended up in second place in the Atlantic Division.

As for the Blues, they clinched their spot in the Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday night with a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. It will be the first time the Blues will play for the Stanley Cup since that fateful series against the Bruins in 1970.

St. Louis made the Final in each of the first three seasons of the franchise's existence, but were swept in four games in all three of those playoff rounds. The Blues are the only team in NHL history to have appeared in multiple Stanley Cup Finals, but have not won a single game in any of those series.

The Blues have worked their way through the Stanley Cup playoffs with a couple of hard-fought series wins in the opening two rounds of the playoffs. In the first round, the Blues pulled out three wins on the road in Winnipeg against the Jets, and ended up closing out the series on home ice in Game 6 of the opening round. In the Conference Semifinal, the Blues fell behind 3-2 in their series with the Dallas Stars, but battled back to win Game 6 on the road, followed by a double-overtime victory in Game 7 at Enterprise Center.

Rookie netminder Jordan Binnington has continued his strong play from the end of the regular season, posting a 12-7 record in 19 postseason games with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. The 25-year-old is a finalist for the Calder Trophy this season as the NHL's Rookie of the Year, despite the fact that he did not start the season in St. Louis.

The Blues have been led offensively by Jaden Schwartz in the playoffs with his 12 goals and 16 points in 19 games. Schwartz has scored two hat-tricks in this year's playoffs, becoming the first player in Blues franchise history to do so. He is also the first player to score two hat-tricks in the same postseason since Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings in 2008.

Former Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly is second in team scoring this postseason with three goals and 14 points, while Vladimir Tarasenko, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo are all tied for third in scoring with 13 points.

It was a rough start to the regular season for the Blues as they got out to a 7-9-3 in the opening 19 games. That slow start resulted in the firing of head coach Mike Yeo, who was replaced by interim head coach Craig Berube. At the end of the 2018 calendar year, St. Louis found itself with a 15-18-4 record with 34 points, which was tied for dead last in the NHL standings.

From there, the Blues dramatically turned their season around and closed out the regular season with a 30-10-5 record. That helped the Blues to a 99-point finish and the third spot in the Central Division.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final gets underway on Monday night at 8 p.m. at TD Garden in Boston. You can catch all of the Stanley Cup action on WGR Sports Radio 550.

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