By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — All things considered, you’d be hard-pressed to ask for anything else out of the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.READ MORE: Rally Calls For Asian Studies To Be Added To School Curriculum In Massachusetts
Outside of the opening six minutes of the third period, the Bruins played their game to perfection on Saturday night, to the tune of a 7-2 victory. As a result, they now own a 2-1 lead.
–The Bruins withstood the expected initial push from the Blues, who were jacked up to play the first Cup Final game in St. Louis since 1970.
–The Bruins’ power play got four opportunities. The Bruins’ power play scored four times. On four shots.
–The third line scored an important goal, giving Boston a 2-0 lead.
–The fourth line scored a mammoth goal, making that lead 3-0 just seconds before the end of the first period.
–The top line may not have scored in 5-on-5 play, but Patrice Bergeron scored on a power play, as did David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand looked much more like the usual Brad Marchand.
–Seven goals were scored by seven different players.
–A replay review went the Bruins’ way. That has not often been the case this postseason.READ MORE: Dorchester Grandmother Killed By Stray Bullet While Sitting On Porch Identified As Delois Brown
–Boston never trailed. Not only that, but after St. Louis scored to make the score 4-1, the Bruins scored just 67 seconds later to regain the four-goal advantage.
–After scuffling for the opening six minutes of the third period, the Bruins killed a penalty and finished off the win the way they wanted. Noel Acciari scored an empty-netter, and Marcus Johansson scored on a late power play to make it a 7-2 final.
–With Matt Grzelcyk out due to a concussion, Torey Krug put on a show from the blue line with a four-point night — one goal and three assists.
–Tuukka Rask maintained his Conn Smythe form, stopping 27 shots with one goal deflecting in off a defenseman. On the other end, the Bruins have put some doubt into rookie netminder Jordan Binnington, who was yanked from the game late in the second period.
All told, it was right up there with the Game 2 win over Carolina as the most complete showing the Bruins have put forth this postseason. But this one — on the road, in a tied series that could swing either way — was much more significant. And much more impressive.
Of course, a 7-2 blowout win on the road counts only as much as a narrow overtime victory on the road, and the results of Game 3 can’t carry over into Game 4. As evidenced by the reversal of dominant roles from Game 1 to Game 2, things can change quickly this time of year. As soon as the puck drops Monday night, everything that took place Saturday will be ancient history.
At the same time, the complete and utter dominance from the Bruins is going to psychologically leave a mark on the Blues.
The Blues will never enter a game with more frenetic energy than they did in Game 3. The Blues can’t play with much more physicality — clean, borderline, and otherwise — than they did in Game 3. And the Blues now have to carry a few questions about the status of their rookie goaltender entering what’s as close to a must-win as possible less than 48 hours after taking the skate of shame to the bench.
This being the Stanley Cup Final and the Bruins being a veteran-laden bunch, the Bruins are unlikely to let themselves get too high after the 7-2 win. At the same time, they’re going to have some difficulty playing as well in Game 4 and beyond as they did on Saturday night.
There’s been a lot of chatter about “perfection” with these Bruins, particularly the top line. In Game 3, for almost the full 60 minutes, the Bruins as a team showed what perfection can look like on the sport’s grandest stage.MORE NEWS: Water Conservation Urged In Massachusetts Amid Dry Spell