For the first time in eight years, there will be a Stanley Cup Final Game 7 on NBC.
NBC Sports’ exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final continued tonight on NBC, as the Boston Bruins avoided elimination by defeating the St. Louis Blues 5-1 in Game 6 at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo. The series now moves to TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET, with the winner claiming the Stanley Cup. Pre-game coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Seven-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire had the call from St. Louis. This marks the 13th consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire have combined to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports.
Pre-game coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with a two-hour edition of NHL Live, featuring outdoor sets in St. Louis to capture the scene amongst the fans. Mike Tirico hosted Game 6 coverage outside of Enterprise Center. Liam McHugh anchored pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage on-site, alongside analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Keith Jones. In addition, Kathryn Tappen hosted pre-game and post-game coverage from outside sets in St. Louis alongside analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick, Patrick Sharp, Brian Boucher, and Anson Carter.
During the first intermission, McHugh, Milbury and Jones interviewed actress and St. Louis native Jenna Fischer, who starred in the NBC series The Office.
NHL Live included:
A feature on Jaden Schwartz family who became bone marrow donors following the death of Jaden’s sister, Mandi, to leukemia in 2011
A segment on Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
Coverage shifted inside Enterprise Center at 7:30 p.m. ET with McHugh, Milbury, Jones and Tirico.
Emrick: “And the Bruins have forced Game 7.”
Olczyk: “Pack it up and headed to Boston for a Game 7. Nothing better than that.”
Emrick: “There aren’t many things better in all of the sports world than a seventh game.”
Milbury: “It does (feel like it should end this way). There have been some great moments from both teams. I thought St. Louis came out with purpose, intensity, and they got their power-play opportunity early, couldn’t make anything of it, and then (Brayden) Schenn took a poor penalty for boarding from behind, O’Reilly takes a second one for delay of game lofting the puck into the stands, and then Brad Marchand sticks a knife in him. Really, that was a huge turning point.”
Emrick on Karson Khulman goal: “My goodness, what a ripper!”
Olczyk on Khulman: “Very noticeable since the first period that the bruins are not turning down any opportunities to fire the puck at the net. You couldn’t place the puck in the net any better.”
Emrick: “(Brandon) Carlo with a seeing-eye bouncer from the right point that becomes the second goal of the game.”
Olczyk: “We talked about the bouncing puck in the second period. What ends up happening? It hits, it skips, and it goes inside the blocker into the back of the net.”
Tirico: “I’d say it’s edge-of-your-seat stuff, but everyone in the building is standing.”
Milbury: “Tuukka Rask has been great all postseason and he’s been as good as he’s ever been in this game tonight.”
Jones on Rask: “He’s been doing whatever it takes to win this game. He has been fabulous once again.”
Milbury: “You can’t ask much more than what Ryan O’Reilly is giving and he’s all of a sudden put himself into the superstar category here in the Stanley Cup Final.”
Emrick: “Hope you’re enjoying this, especially if you’re not a fan of either of the two teams. It’s wonderful hockey and if you’re not invested then you’re not going to the antacids and things right now.”
Olczyk on ice quality: “We mentioned earlier in the game, Doc, in the first period, remember with the O’Reilly chant when the puck was kind of rolling and bouncing everywhere. It’s a really warm day here in St. Louis today and as the day goes on, the ice deteriorates, gets a little worse. Something to keep an eye on moving forward here, instead of trying to make those cute little plays.”
McGuire on Bruins G Tuukka Rask: “He’s been like Velcro.”
Milbury: “They had it all going their way, St. Louis, but penalties took over and Boston took advantage of it.”
Jenna Fischer: “I literally have been waiting my whole life for this. I grew up here in St. Louis, — the Blues, the Cardinals — we’re such a sport city. This means everything to us.”
NHL Live on NBCSN (6 – 8 p.m. ET)
Emrick: “It should be lots of fun and lots of noise. The Blues want an all-night party and their fans to miss work tomorrow. The Bruins, how about a Game 7 back in New England?”
Olczyk on major sports comebacks: “Considering where they (St. Louis Blues) have come from, it could be one of the ultimate sports comebacks ever. Three days into this year, they were dead last in the entire National Hockey League, and here they are, only one win away from winning the greatest trophy in all of professional sports.”
Milbury on ideal first 10 minutes for Bruins: “It would look just like it looked like in Game 5 for Boston, except that they would hit the back of the net behind Binnington. They have to beat him early. Those pushes are great, but you feel pretty good about yourself if you’re St. Louis if you can withstand that push. Boston has to push as hard as they can in that first 10 minutes, as they did in Game 5, but they’ve got to have some results.”
Jones on David Backes: “I would’ve played him. I think it’s a mistake. I think the St. Louis Blues are going to try to feed off of that. Speed is one thing, I get it from the Boston Bruins perspective, but grit and all the intangibles that David Backes brings to the lineup, I think they’re way too important to have him sitting in the stands. Time will tell how that plays out, but I’d be wanting David Backes out there on the ice for me if I was playing for the Boston Bruins.
Jones on the Blues: “The St. Louis Blues have proven that their leadership core and their head coach are very calming. In big moments, the Blues have played their best games. As the series has moved along, the St. Louis Blues have become better. That’s all good things looking forward to tonight where they have the chance to eliminate the Boston Bruins.”
Olczyk on no-call in Game 5: “You want the game to be played on the ice. If it’s a penalty, you want the referees to call it whether it’s the first play of the game or the last play of the game. Look, they make mistakes. That’s the reality of it… But you like to see this decided on the ice by the players, not necessarily by the officials having a hand in it. They’re there to protect the game, to call the game – but you want it to be decided by the guys on the ice.”
Boucher on Tuukka Rask: “I expect a really good performance from Rask. The one guy that I’m not concerned about in the Bruins locker room is Tuukka Rask, with the way that he’s played throughout this postseason. I expect him be a brick wall back there and give his team a chance. There’s no way that Tuukka Rask is going to come into this hockey game tonight and be overwhelmed, be nervous – he’s the guy with experience, he’s the guy who’s played in this situation before.”
Boucher on Jordan Binnington: “He got the volume in Game 5 and it was the first time in this series that he really had an opportunity to make a difference in a game in this series. I feel like through Games 1 through 4, he didn’t have a ton of work, but in that first period in Boston in Game 5, he really had the chance to make an imprint – and he did. He was fantastic with 17 saves. I thought he steadied the ship for the St. Louis Blues and allowed them to kind of get their feet under them in the hockey game, and that’s what a goaltender needs to do on the road – give his team a chance to win. He certainly did that, his best game of the series was in Game 5.”
Tappen on Ryan O’Reilly: “He has been an absolute beast in this series.”
Sharp on Boston’s Marchand/Bergeron/Pastrnak line underperforming: “I don’t think it’s a slump that the top line’s going through, it’s just tough sledding out there. The St. Louis Blues are doing an excellent job of finishing checks, and not just these three guys, but everyone in a Boston Bruins jersey. If you handle the puck for two seconds out there, someone’s going to lay a body on you. It’s starting to take its toll in this series.”
Carter: “The last couple of days, all we’ve been talking about is the referees. So I want to see if the standards are going to change. If they call it a lot more tight than the last couple of games, where the Blues PK (penalty kill) has been outstanding, then it’s going to favor the Boston Bruins.”