Binnington, Blues on verge of delivering St. Louis first Stanley Cup in 52-year history; Rask, Bruins hit road looking to force Game 7
The Stanley Cup will be in the building tonight when the Blues host the Bruins for Game 6 of the Final. St. Louis needs one win to claim the Cup for the first time in its 52-year history.
BLUES RETURN HOME AIMING TO WIN FIRST STANLEY CUP IN 52-YEAR HISTORY
A victory by the Blues tonight would end the longest wait in NHL history – 51 seasons – for a team to win its first championship. The Kings currently hold that distinction after winning the Cup for the first time in their 44th season (2011-12).
* The Blues can become the second team in as many years to win the Stanley Cup for the first time, following the Capitals in 2017-18 – their 43rd season. The last time there were consecutive first-time Cup winners was a three-season stretch that saw the Lightning (2004), Hurricanes (2006) and Ducks (2007) claim their first titles.
* Overall, St. Louis holds a 30-26 record in potential series-clinching games, with more than half those wins taking place on home ice (17 of 30; 56.7%). The Blues own an all-time record of 17-9 as hosts in potential series clinching games (.654), including a 3-0 mark in 2019.
* Despite owning a 6-6 record at Enterprise Center this postseason, the Blues can become the third club in NHL history to record four series-clinching victories at home in one playoff year. The 1988 Oilers and 2007 Ducks are the only clubs to do so.
* Overall, teams with a 3-2 advantage under the best-of-seven format own a 315-87 series record (.784) in NHL history, including a 32-8 clip in the Stanley Cup Final and 5-4 mark in 2019.
* The Blues are ahead 3-2 in a best-of-seven series for the 14th time in franchise history (and the third time this year). St. Louis is 11-2 in the previous 13 instances (.846), winning Game 6 on six occasions. Their only series losses in this scenario came in the 1996 Conference Semifinals (vs. DET) and 2003 Conference Quarterfinals (vs. VAN).
BRUINS AIM TO FORCE GAME 7, REPLICATE RALLY ACHIEVED IN 2011
The Bruins hit the road looking to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final for the 17th time in history – and first since their Cup-clinching victory in 2011 against Vancouver. Boston also aims to become the ninth team in NHL history to overcome a 3-2 series deficit in the Final – another feat last achieved by them in 2011.
* The 2011 Bruins joined the 2009 Penguins, 2004 Lightning, 2001 Avalanche, 1971 Canadiens, 1964 Maple Leafs, 1950 Red Wings and 1942 Maple Leafs as the only teams to win the Cup after facing a 3-2 series deficit in the Final.
* Boston actually faced series deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 in the 2011 Final before 43-year-old Mark Recchi assisted on three goals in Boston’s 5-2 home win in Game 6. The series shifted back to Vancouver for Game 7, where then-rookie Brad Marchand registered 1-2—3 and Tim Thomas posted a 37-save shutout in a 4-0 victory to give Boston its sixth and most-recent Stanley Cup.
* Overall, the Bruins face a 3-2 deficit in a best-of-seven series for the 25th time in franchise history. They own an all-time series record of 4-20 in the 24 prior instances (including the 2011 series noted above). A look back at the other three times the Bruins rallied to win after losing three of the first five games in a best-of-seven:
2019 First Round (BOS 4, TOR 3)
* The Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs 41-24 in a 4-2 victory in Game 6 before returning home for Game 7. In that decisive contest, Joakim Nordstrom (1-1—2) and Sean Kuraly (1-1—2) led the way as Boston earned its NHL-record 15th Game 7 win.
* The Bruins can become the seventh team in NHL history to overcome a 3-2 deficit in a best-of-seven series multiple times in a postseason. The 2014 Kings were the last to do so, erasing 3-2 series deficits in the First Round (vs. SJS) and Second Round (vs. ANA) before winning the Stanley Cup. The last team to have one of those comebacks come in the Final was the 1971 Canadiens – they trailed 3-2 in the Quarterfinals (vs. BOS) and in the Final (vs. CHI).
1994 Conference Quarterfinals (BOS 4, MTL 3)
* The Canadiens tied Game 6 after falling behind 2-0, but Bruins defenseman Al Iafrate scored the winning goal in the third period to force Game 7. Back at home for the decisive contest, current Bruins general manager Don Sweeney assisted on the opening goal as Boston built a 4-0 lead en route to a 5-3 win against its longtime rival.
1941 Semifinals (BOS 4, TOR 3)
* Bobby Bauer tied Game 6 with 9:21 remaining in regulation and Herb Cain scored the eventual winner 81 seconds later as Boston earned a come-from-behind victory at Maple Leafs Gardens to force Game 7. Two days later, Mel Hill scored the series-clinching goal with 5:43 remaining in regulation as the Bruins earned a second straight comeback win. Boston went on to sweep Detroit in the Final, capturing the third Stanley Cup in franchise history.
SCHWARTZ, PIETRANGELO PACE BLUES IN POTENTIAL SERIES-CLINCHING GAMES
Jaden Schwartz has collected nine career points in potential series-clinching games (4-5—9 in 10 GP), tied with Alex Pietrangelo (1-8—9 in 11 GP) for the highest such total among current Blues. Schwartz scored a hat trick in the Blues’ first such contest of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (3-2 W vs. WPG).
* Overall, five St. Louis players are averaging at least one point per game this postseason when the Blues can eliminate an opponent (3 GP): Ryan O’Reilly (0-4—4), Schwartz (3-0—3), Tyler Bozak (1-2—3), Pietrangelo (0-3—3) and Robert Thomas (0-3—3).
* Jordan Binnington, who would set an NHL rookie record with his 16th win, is 3-0 with a 1.17 goals-against average and .947 save percentage when St. Louis can clinch a series. Binnington can become the 14th different rookie goaltender in NHL history to earn a Stanley Cup-clinching win; Ken Dryden (1971 w/ MTL), Patrick Roy (1986 w/ MTL), Cam Ward (2006 w/ CAR) and Matt Murray (2016, 2017 w/ PIT) are the only ones to do so in the expansion era (since 1967-68).
KREJCI CLUTCH FOR BRUINS WHEN FACING ELIMINATION
David Krejci leads current Bruins with 20 points in 20 career games when Boston has faced elimination (3-17—20 in 20 GP), the second-highest such total in franchise history behind Ray Bourque (6-30—36 in 34 GP).
* Three other Bruins have recorded at least 10 career points when facing elimination: Patrice Bergeron (7-11—18 in 20 GP), Brad Marchand (6-8—14 in 15 GP) and Zdeno Chara (2-10—12 in 29 GP). Marchand leads all Boston players with two goals and three points in elimination games during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (2-1—3 in 2 GP).
* Marchand (3-1—4), Bergeron (2-0—2) and Krejci (1-1—2) have combined for 6-2—8 when facing elimination in the Stanley Cup Final (3 GP).
* Tuukka Rask is 5-5 in 10 career games when facing elimination (2.64 GAA, .899 SV%), including a 2-0 mark during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (1.50 GAA, .947 SV%).
RASK ENTERS GAME 6 LOOKING TO CONTINUE STELLAR PLAY ON THE ROAD
Tuukka Rask enters Game 6 looking to continue his stellar play on the road during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs as Boston looks to avoid losing three consecutive games for the first time since March 10-14 (0-3-0). Rask has yet to suffer three straight losses this season, last doing so in the 2018 Conference Finals against the Lightning.
* Rask is 22-18 in 40 career playoff road games (2.00 GAA, .936 SV%, 5 SO), including a 7-3 mark in 10 games as a visitor this postseason (1.81 GAA, .947 SV%, 2 SO).
* Rask’s career road save percentage of .936 in the postseason is the best among goaltenders since 1955-56 when shots on goal became an official NHL statistic (min. 30 GP on road). His career 2.00 goals-against average as a visitor in the playoffs is the second-lowest in NHL history (min. 30 GP) behind only Turk Broda (1.87 GAA).
PLAYERS WITH THE CUP UP FOR GRABS . . .
The following notes reference single-game highs for players whose team was in position to clinch the Stanley Cup, regardless of game result:
* The most goals is four, achieved by Toronto’s Babe Dye in 1922 against the Vancouver Millionaires (4-0—4 in Game 5). Overall, there have been 60 multi-goal performances by a player whose team could win the Stanley Cup – including three hat tricks, all before 1946.
* Montreal’s Toe Blake holds the record for most assists (4) and most points (5) in a game in which his team could hoist the Cup. Blake (1-4—5) factored on all five Canadiens goals in their overtime win in Game 4 of the 1944 Final, helping to sweep the Black Hawks.
* A player has registered at least three assists for a team that could clinch the Cup on nine occasions, including five in the expansion era; New Jersey’s Bill Guerin was the last to do so (0-3—3 in Game 4 of 1995 SCF vs. DET).
* A player has tallied at least four points for a team that could clinch the Cup six times, including three in the expansion era: Mario Lemieux with Pittsburgh in 1991 (1-3—4 in Game 6 at MNS) and teammates Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri with Edmonton in 1985 (each had 1-3—4 in Game 5 vs. PHI).
* Since 1956, the most saves by a goalie with his team in position to win the Cup is 63, achieved by Colorado’s Patrick Roy in Game 4 of the 1996 Final at Florida – a triple-overtime shutout victory. The most saves on record for such a game that ended in regulation is 40, achieved by Toronto’s Terry Sawchuk (Game 6 of 1967: 3-1 W vs. MTL) and Philadelphia’s Ron Hextall (Game 7 of 1987: 3-1 L at EDM).
* The Stanley Cup has been won via shutout 22 times, with Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray the last to do so (Game 6 of 2017: 27 saves in 2-0 W at NSH).
. . . PLAYERS WHEN FACING ELIMINATION IN THE FINAL
The following notes reference single-game highs for players whose team was facing elimination in the Stanley Cup Final, regardless of result:
* The most goals is four, achieved by Toronto’s Babe Dye in the same 1922 game noted in the previous section. Overall, there have been 64 multi-goal performances by a player whose team was facing elimination in the Final; that includes seven hat tricks, with the only two in the modern era (since 1943-44) coming in defeats.
* The most assists by a player when facing elimination in the Final is four, achieved by Brian Propp with the Flyers (Game 5 of 1987 at EDM: 4-3 W) and Brad Maxwell with the North Stars (Game 4 of 1981 vs. NYI: 4-2 W).
* The most points by a player when facing elimination in the Final is five, achieved by teammates Don Metz (3-2—5) and Syl Apps (2-3—5) in Toronto’s 9-3 victory in Game 5 of the 1942 Final – a series they won after losing the first three games. Overall, a player has recorded at least four points in this circumstance eight times, with Propp and Maxwell accounting for the only instances over the past 45 years.
* The most saves on record by a goaltender when facing elimination in the Final is 55, achieved in triple-overtime efforts by Florida’s John Vanbiesbrouck in 1996 (Game 4: 1-0 3OT L vs. COL) and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury in 2008 (Game 5: 4-3 3OT W at DET). The most in such a game ending in regulation is 44, a mark set by San Jose’s Martin Jones in 2016 (Game 5: 4-2 W at PIT).
* A goaltender has posted a shutout to help his team fend off elimination in the Final on eight occasions, with Boston’s Tim Thomas the last to do so (Game 7 of 2011: 37 saves in 4-0 W at VAN). The last such occurrence outside a Game 7 was by Edmonton’s Jussi Markkanen (Game 6 of 2006: 16 saves in 4-0 W vs. CAR).