BOSTON — Carl Gunnarsson scored on a delayed penalty 3:51 into overtime, Jordan Binnington made 21 saves and the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Wednesday night to tie the Stanley Cup Final at a game apiece.
Robert Bortuzzo and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored to help St. Louis win a Cup finals game for the first time in 14 tries in franchise history. It was the first overtime in a Cup final since Game 2 of 2016.
Charlie Coyle and Joakim Nordstrom scored for Boston and Tuukka Rask made 33 saves. The Bruins won 4-2 in Game 1 on Monday night and had won eight straight games.
Game 3 is Saturday night in St. Louis.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 30, 2019
Gunnarsson also hit the post behind Rask with about 2 minutes left in regulation. In the final minute, Boston’s David Pastrnak had a chance off a faceoff, but Binnington turned it away.
“Would have loved to have it in the third, but who cares?” Gunnarson said on the ice moments after his blast past Rask. “It’s great, taking this home.”
After a furious first period that ended in a 2-all tie, the teams went on defence in the second. Despite four penalties, including a high-sticking, blood-drawing double-minor against Boston’s Connor Clifton, neither team was able to score.
It stayed tied through a hard-hitting third period, with both teams failing to convert good scoring chances and avoid overtime.
But after the break, it was all Blues.
Boston did not get off a shot in the overtime, and the Eastern Conference champs struggled to clear it out of their own zone. With a penalty coming up, the Blues pulled Binnington for an extra skated and maintained possession until they could work it around to Gunnarsson for a rifle into the corner of the net.
Gunnarsson also assisted on Bortuzzo’s goal midway through the first period that deflected off Matt Grzelcyk’s stick past Rask to make it 1-1.
Nordstrom scored just 40 seconds later to give Boston a 2-1 lead, but that lasted less than five minutes before Tarasenko took advantage of a mistake by Brad Marchand and lifted the puck over Rask with a second effort to tie the score again at 2.
Bruins defenceman Matt Grzelcyk left with about two minutes left in the first period after taking an elbow to the head from Oskar Sundqvist. The Bruins did not score on the ensuing power play.
Notes: New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was the pregame banner waver. … The Bruins scored a power-play goal for the sixth straight game, the second-longest post-season streak in franchise history. They have had seven-game streaks three times, most recently in 1999. The 19 power play goals is also the No. 2 in Bruins playoff history, second to the 24 in 1991. … The Blues were without forward Robert Thomas, who hasn’t played since a hit from Torey Krug in Game 1. Defenceman Vince Dunn missed his fifth consecutive game. … Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy pulled Rask for an offensive zone faceoff with 1.2 seconds left in the second period. Neither team managed a shot.
The best-of-seven series moves to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4. The Blues hold the home-ice advantage and can win their first NHL title without needing another victory in Boston.
The Associated Press