bRUINS, BLUES LOOK TO BREAK 2-2 STALEMATE AS FINAL RETURNS TO BOSTON
The 2019 Stanley Cup Final shifts back to TD Garden for Game 5 with both the Bruins and Blues looking to break a 2-2 stalemate.
* When any best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 holds the historical edge with an all-time series record of 210-58 (78.4%). That includes a 5-3 mark this postseason and 18-7 clip in the Stanley Cup Final (72.0%).
TD GARDEN A WELCOME SIGHT FOR BRUINS
Boston returns home with a 7-4 record at TD Garden this postseason, outscoring opponents 37-25 on home ice while clicking at 25.0% on the power play (9-for-36) and 89.7% on the penalty kill (26-for-29).
* “The Perfection Line” of Patrice Bergeron (4-2—6), Brad Marchand (3-6—9) and David Pastrnak (3-4—7) have accounted for more than one quarter of Boston’s tallies through 11 home games this postseason (10 of 37; 27.0%).
* Overall, 17 different Bruins have scored at least one goal at TD Garden this postseason – tied for the most unique goal scorers on home ice by one team in a playoff year. The 1984 Oilers, 1991 Penguins and 2014 Kings also had 17 different players score at home – all en route to winning the Stanley Cup.
* Four Boston players are averaging at least one point per game following a loss this postseason: Marchand (4-6—10 in 6 GP), Pastrnak (4-4—8 in 6 GP), Bergeron (4-4—8 in 6 GP) and Torey Krug (2-6—8 in 6 GP). Tuukka Rask, meanwhile, is 5-1 with a 0.94 goals-against average and 2.01 save percentage on the heels of a defeat during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
BEYOND SCORING: UNSUNG HEROES OF THE 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
A closer look at how the Blues and Bruins compare beyond scoring through four games of the Stanley Cup Final.
* Nine players have recorded at least 60 hits this postseason, including five skating in the Stanley Cup Final: Blues forwards Ivan Barbashev (74; 3rd), Brayden Schenn (72; t-4th), Oskar Sundqvist (67; 6th) and Sammy Blais (62; 8th) sit just ahead of Bruins forward Noel Acciari (60; 9th). Blais is among that group despite playing in only 12 games this postseason. Barbashev leads all players with 21 hits in the Stanley Cup Final.
* While St. Louis’s Vladimir Tarasenko leads all skaters with 82 shots on goal this postseason, it’s Boston’s Charlie Coyle that paces the NHL with a 25.0% shooting percentage (9 G on 36 SOG; min. 20 SOG). Coyle and Tarasenko each have three goals in the Final, for 37.5% and 16.7% shooting percentages, respectively.
* The Bruins and Blues account for four of the top five players in blocked shots this postseason, with Bruins teammates Charlie McAvoy (43; 2nd) and Zdeno Chara (40; t-4th) and the Blues duo of Alex Pietrangelo (42; 3rd) and Jay Bouwmeester (40; t-4th) trailing Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (48; 1st). McAvoy, Chara and Boston teammate Joakim Nordstrom share the lead with nine blocks apiece in the Final.
* Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron leads the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 59.3% success rate in the faceoff circle (261-for-440), while St. Louis’s team leader Tyler Bozak ranks fourth (52.6%; 143-for-272); among players with at least 200 faceoffs. Bergeron (59.5%; 44-for-74) ranks second in the Final behind teammate David Krejci (61.1%; 22-for-36), for players with more than five draws.
* Blues captain Pietrangelo (589:23) leads all players in time on ice this postseason, which ranks among the top 50 since 1998 when the NHL began tracking the statistic. Teammate Ryan O’Reilly has logged 488:31 on ice, nearly an entire regulation game more than the next-closest forward (55:49) – Schenn (432:42) ranks second on that list.
BACK AND FORTH WE GO
With the exception of Game 3, when Boston led for 49:13, the 2019 Stanley Cup Final has been a back-and-forth showdown with five score-tying goals across the first four contests.
* The Bruins and Blues have held leads for similar times, with Boston doing so for 30.1% of total playing time (73:23 of 243:51) and St. Louis at 27.1% (66:00 of 243:51).
* Overall, the Final has been tied or within one goal for 80.7% of total playing time – with three of the four games thus far decided by one goal, or two goals following an empty-net strike.
* In addition to their four comeback wins apiece in 2019, the Bruins and Blues have rallied from series deficits to move within two victories of the Stanley Cup. Boston trailed three times against Toronto in the First Round (0-1, 1-2, 2-3) and once against Columbus in the Second Round (1-2), while St. Louis faced series deficits against Dallas in the Second Round (2-3) and San Jose in the Conference Finals (0-1 and 1-2). Both have won a series after losing Game 5 to fall behind 3-2.
COYLE AIMS FOR STREAK LAST ACHIEVED BY WAYNE GRETZKY
Bruins forward Charlie Coyle scored the team’s first goal in Game 4, extending his goal streak to three games and matching Patrice Bergeron for the team lead with nine goals this postseason.
* Only 13 players in NHL history have posted a goal streak of four or more games in the Stanley Cup Final, including six who have done so in the expansion era (since 1967-68). A goal tonight would make Coyle the first player with a four-game goal streak in the Final since Wayne Gretzky 34 years ago.