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Tuukka Rask And The Bruins Spoil St. Louis's Party, Force Game 7

Photo: Dilip Vishwanat (Getty)

It certainly feels fitting that the first two of the Bruins’ goals in Game 6 came via some very visible influence from the referees. Not in any controversial way, for the record, but every Boston fan who believes in karma must surely feel that their 5-1 victory on Sunday night was preordained, after they got so unlucky in Game 5. Before the game even got out of hand, the Bruins had a five-on-three, an incredible performance from their goaltender, an impossible save off the line, and some wild bounces, which altogether adds up to a Game 7 on Wednesday.

The Bruins got their first goal, in the first period, thanks to a pair of penalties that could not have gone uncalled by any officiating crew. Brayden Schenn got locked up for boarding, and then on the ensuing power play, Ryan O’Reilly sent the puck over the boards for delay of game. With two men off the ice, Brad Marchand had an easy one-timer to put the Bruins on the board.

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The Blues got four power-play opportunities of their own, but as usual, they were stifled by Boston. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask turned in his best game of the series, stopping 28 of 29, but he got also got a massive lift from Charlie McAvoy in the second period with the Blues on the man advantage. After a puck bounced off the post and off Rask’s back, it sure looked to be guaranteed a spot behind the goal line. It would have tied the game at one-all, had McAvoy not acted quickly to smack it away.

The GWG arrived in the third thanks to a screwy shot from Brandon Carlo, made possible in part because Alex Pietrangelo’s attempt at a clearance got shut down accidentally by a ref’s skate. Carlo would eventually get the puck and fire his attempt from the blue line next to the St. Louis bench, and some knucklepuck motion was enough to baffle Jordan Binnington and make it 2-0.

Some other guys scored goals in the last ten minutes, including O’Reilly, but ultimately, they were all meaningless unless St. Louis can get any kind of boost from avoiding the shutout and hearing at least a few cheers before leaving the ice in defeat. For a Game 7 in Boston, they’ll need any help they can get.

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