The Bruins weren’t intimidated by the raucous atmosphere at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday. Not one bit.
Boston came out and scored three goals in the first period including one in the final minute and rode that momentum to a 7-2 victory and a 2-1 series lead.
This was the first Stanley Cup Final game played in St. Louis in 49 years and the fans were buzzing, but Boston didn’t care. The Bruins cared so little that it scored on its first three power-play opportunities and ran goalie Jordan Binnington for the first time in his young career.
Three takeaways from Bruins’ Game 3 win over the Blues
Dictating the game
Boston came into Game 3 knowing one thing for sure: If it didn’t dictate the game in the faceoff circle it was going to be a long night. Ryan O’Reilly dominated the circle in Game 2 winning 65 percent of his opportunities in the faceoff. He did much of that against Patrice Bergeron, who happena to be one of the best at faceoffs in the NHL.
Faceoffs were a big reason why St. Louis was successful down the stretch in Game 2 and the Bruins knew they had to clean it up. It was early in Game 3 when they started the game winning 15 of the first 24 faceoffs and scored their first goal off of a faceoff win by Bergeron on O’Reilly.
💯 career postseason points for Bergy! #StanleyCup
— NHL (@NHL) June 2, 2019
This was the 100th career postseason point for Bergeron and it got Boston off on the right foot for the rest of the game.
The Bruins were up 3-0 after the first period and 5-1 midway through the second. They dictated this game from the beginning by winning those 50/50 plays when they needed to and it led to a victory.
Shades of February
When the Bruins acquired Charlie Coyle from the Wild in February they knew they were going to get a winger who could help the team’s depth and maybe score a bit in the playoffs. We’re pretty sure they didn’t think they were going to get a guy who looks like the team’s best player in the Stanley Cup Final.
OK, we all know Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron have been the best players in the postseason for Boston, but what Coyle has done cannot be ignored. He scored his third goal of the finals in the first period Saturday, which leads Boston for the series, and now has eight goals in the playoffs.
— NHL (@NHL) June 2, 2019
Coyle now only trails David Pastrnak and Bergeron in goals for the Bruins this postseason, and the only reason he does is because those two players scored goals in Game 3 as well. Coyle hasn’t just been a nice addition, he’s turned into a weapon for Boston and is a huge reason why the team is up 2-1 in the series.
Bruins’ special teams truly are special
It may start sounding like a broken record, but the fact is the Bruins’ power play and penalty kill are a huge reason why they’re up 2-1 in the series.
In Game 3, the Bruins went 4 for 4 on the power play and are now 6 for 14 in the series. Even tougher for St. Louis though, the Blues went 0 for 2 on their special teams chances through the first two periods which is effectively a five-goal swing in the game.
Boston’s penalty kill has been absolutely stellar this postseason. It came into Game 3 having held its opponent without a goal on 28 of 29 opportunities. Through two periods Saturday it was 30 of 31. That is flat-out absurd, you didn’t need to be told that, but it’s still a fact. They finished the game 31 of 33 on the penalty kill but St. Louis still went 1 for 5 in the game.
If St. Louis can’t get its power play going and stop Boston’s down the stretch of this series, it will lose.