Boston’s Par Lindholm works to protect the puck around the long reach of St. Louis’ Colton Parayko. (Boston Herald photo)
Tukka Rask stopped all 26 St. Louis shots on the way to his 2nd shutout of the season as the Bruins moved to 7-1-2 on the season. The Bruins scored a goal in each of the three periods with a power-play goal in the first, an even-strength goal in the second and an empty-netter to seal the deal in the third.
St. Louis, playing without Vladimir Tarasenko on this road trip, seemed to struggle to find chemistry and get to their game. They were 0 for 4 on the powerplay and had trouble staying out of the penalty box. They outshot the Bruins 26-24 but the game seemed pretty well one-sided in favor of the home team Bruins.
The Blues travel to Detroit for a 4 PM Central start tomorrow. It’s their first back-to-back games of the season and one of four back-to-backs in the next six weeks.
The Bruins brought playoff-style physicality early in this game. On the game’s first possession, Zdeno Chara leveled Oskar Sundqvist at the blue line and Brayden Schenn took exception to it. Chara and Schenn served minors. Six minutes later the two teams would go four on four again after a little tit for tat between David Perron and Torey Krug.
The Blues best chance came in that 2nd four on four when Sundqvist had a breakaway behind the Boston defense, but Tukka Rask turned the shot away.
At the 14:08 mark, Perron held Charlie Coyle and gave the lethal Boston powerplay their first chance of the game. The Bruins entered the game first in the NHL with the man advantage (35.7%) and needed just half of the 2-minute minor to make the Blues pay. David Pastrnak’s one-timer snuck past Jordan Binnington to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 26, 2019
St. Louis got their chance after Sean Kuraly was whistled for cross-checking against Vince Dunn. Alex Pietrangelo’s one-timer didn’t make it past Rask, as he stopped all nine shots he faced.
The opening frame was played pretty even, but Boston seemed to be the team with better chemistry and flow to their game.
NBC commentators used words like “swagger” and “confident” when describing the Blues, but a goal was what they needed.
Eight minutes into the 2nd, the Blues only had one shot on goal. They had trouble getting to their game. The absence of Vladi Tarasenko mixed up the lines and chemistry seemed hard to come by.
Boston added another goal when Anders Bjork found an opening over the glove of Binnington at point-blank range, and the Bruins were up 2-0. The shot was wobbling like a Billy Kilmer pass and may have just fooled the Blues goaltender as it fluttered end over end over his left side.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 27, 2019
St. Louis did get another powerplay opportunity at the end of the period and it carried over into the final frame.
The third started with 1:17 of the power play for the Blues, but they couldn’t capitalize.
When they finally got to full strength, late in the third, it looked like they were finally getting the forecheck going. But, they just never had enough space to create any offense. Boston did a good job of clogging passing lanes and getting to loose pucks quickly.
Perron had the best chances in the third but couldn’t find an opening to get the puck past Rask. He was solid tonight.
Late in the game, Blais replaced Sundqvist on the Schenn/Schwartz line. Berube is still fiddling with lines, trying to find some chemistry. His track record last year showed that he will eventually find combinations that work. The season is still young. We have a deep team. Let’s go Blues!