By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — All eyes in the hockey world were fixed squarely on St. Louis on Sunday night. And aside from the two teams playing in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, the attention was focused on the men wearing stripes.READ MORE: How To Get An Appointment When COVID Vaccines Open For Mass. Residents 16+
Considering the controversy of Game 5’s ending and Bruce Cassidy’s clear-as-day criticism, as well as earlier complaints from Blues head coach Craig Berube, the officiating was guaranteed to be a focal point of Game 6.
The Blues got the first power play of the night, though that one came on a puck over the glass, a call where the referees didn’t need to make a judgment.
The first actual call of the night came with 12:43 left in the first period, when Brayden Schenn hit Joakim Nordstrom from behind, drawing a two-minute minor for boarding.
The Bruins’ power play, which had been struggling, got to work. And after surviving a Ryan O’Reilly shorthanded breakaway (the puck rolled on him and he couldn’t get a shot on net), Brad Marchand turned the puck over in the Blues’ end. During that pressure, O’Reilly ended up flipping the puck over the glass, leading to 58 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play for Boston.
It didn’t take long for that lethal unit to strike, as David Pastrnak sent a diagonal pass to Brad Marchand, who ripped a one-timer past the glove of Jordan Binnington for the first goal of the game. That goal came just 21 seconds into the 5-on-3.
That goal let Schenn leave the penalty box, but the Bruins still had ample time on the O’Reilly penalty. The Bruins didn’t capitalize on that one, but in a game where officiating was going to be heavily scrutinized, it was the Bruins who first gained an advantage on the power play.