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National Hockey League
Boston 4, St. Louis 2
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, May 27, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Referees: Steve Kozari, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Pierre Racicot
Attendance: 17565

BOSTON -- The fear was that 10 days off between games would lead to some rust for the Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday, and Boston certainly looked the part in falling into an early two-goal deficit.

However, a goal from an unexpected source ignited a rally, and the Bruins scored four unanswered goals and dominated the final 40 minutes to topple the St. Louis Blues 4-2 and grab an early lead in the best-of-seven series.

Rookie defenseman Connor Clifton got the comeback started at 2:16 of the second period -- his second goal in his past four playoff games after he had none in his previous 28 regular-season and postseason contests combined.

Charlie McAvoy, Sean Kuraly and Brad Marchand subsequently scored to complete the rally. The win was the Bruins' eighth straight overall, while the defeat dropped the Blues to 0-13 in finals history.

Game 2 is Wednesday in Boston.

With the Bruins trailing 2-0 and off to a sluggish start, Clifton's goal didn't appear to be by design. Kuraly passed the puck toward Clifton in front of the net, and the 24-year-old was just able to tuck it inside the right post on the redirect to cut the deficit in half.

"Sean made a great play driving wide, hit me backdoor. I stopped at the net, and luckily it went off my foot and in," Clifton said. "I think it was a good changing point."

"We weren't playing to our standard," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of the early lull. "We needed something good to happen, and it did with the Kuraly play to Clifton. It got us into the game, got the crowd back into the game, and all of a sudden we're rolling."

From that point on, the game was all Bruins. Over the final two periods, Boston held a 30-12 edge in shots. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was forced to make 34 saves, while Tuukka Rask had to stop only 18 shots for the Bruins.

After Clifton's goal, McAvoy knotted the score when he put one in off Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo's stick on the power play at 12:41 of the second.

Clifton was again involved in Kuraly's goal as the defender corralled a turnover to start the play that ended in a 3-2 Bruins lead 5:21 into the third period.

"We're a team that's relied on everybody all year, and tonight was a good example," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said.

Marchand put the game away with an empty-netter with 1:49 remaining.

Prior to Boston's surge, St. Louis had been in control. Vladimir Tarasenko took advantage of a bad turnover by David Pastrnak to make it 2-0 at the one-minute mark of the second. The goal extended Tarasenko's points streak to seven games.

Brayden Schenn scored the lone first-period tally for the Blues at 7:23 when a shot he ripped bounced off Rask and was redirected back to him on passes from Jay Bouwmeester and Jaden Schwartz. Schenn then put it past Rask for his second goal in two games following a 13-game drought.

"I thought we had a good start to the first period, got to our game a little bit," Schenn said. "Then we just started getting too spread out, weren't getting pucks in, turning pucks over, whether it was by accident or on purpose. We've just got to take care of the puck."

Penalties were also an issue for the Blues. Boston, which entered the game with a 34 percent success rate on the power play during the playoffs, went 1-for-5 on its chances.

"It started with penalties," Bouwmeester said. "We just didn't skate and move the puck very well and got hemmed in our end, and they got some momentum and that kind of turned the game around."

--By Kyle Brasseur, Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
St. Louis   Boston
Brayden Schenn 2 Points Sean Kuraly 2
Brayden Schenn 1 Goals Sean Kuraly 1
Brayden Schenn 1 Assists Sean Kuraly 1
N/A Power Play Goals Charlie McAvoy 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Jordan Binnington .919 Save Percentage Tuukka Rask .900
Jordan Binnington 34 Saves Tuukka Rask 18
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
St. Louis 20 2 0-2 4-5 10 26
Boston 38 4 1-5 2-2 4 31
Upcoming Games
  • Boston will play their next game at home against St. Louis. The Bruins have a W/L % of .612 after a win and .576 after a loss.
  • St. Louis will play their next game on the road against Boston. The Blues have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .605 after a loss.