NBC Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final continued tonight on NBCSN, as defenseman Carl Gunnarsson scored his first career playoff goal 3:51 into overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 win in Game 2 against the Boston Bruins and even the series at one game apiece.
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 TD Garden in Boston. 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. Host Liam McHugh anchored pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage on-site, alongside analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.
Kathryn Tappen and McHugh hosted pre-game and post-game coverage from outside sets in Boston, capturing the scene amongst the fans alongside analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick, Brian Boucher, Anson Carter, Patrick Sharp and AJ Mleczko. Jones and Olczyk also joined pre-game coverage outside on NHL Live. Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ET with McHugh, Milbury and Jones.
NHL Live was highlighted by a feature on Bruins forward and Weymouth, Mass., native Charlie Coyle, which included interviews with his grandmothers, parents, and sisters, as well as an interview with Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. NHL Live also included a conversation with Tappen and Mleczko about the current state of professional women’s hockey; a duck boat ride through Boston with Mleczko and Roenick; and a look at the latest league news with NBC Sports NHL insider Bob McKenzie.
Milbury on the Blues: “The better team won this hockey game. They came out with a purpose. They were physical. They were relentless. It finally paid off. They just wanted it more than the Bruins.”
Jones on the Blues: “They put a clinic on how to win a road game. They paid a price. They took hits to make plays. They made contact in every possible situation and made sure they hit somebody.”
McHugh: “We were wondering about (Blues defenseman) Vince Dunn, if he would play tonight. If he was in, who wouldn’t be?”
Jones: “Carl Gunnarsson wouldn’t be in. He rang one off the goal post and then he put one to the back of the net to win this thing. What a great moment for him.”
Emrick on Carl Gunnarsson’s game-winning overtime goal, 3-2 Blues: “Carl Gunnarsson, who hit the post in the third period, this time gets the net…56th career playoff game, first career playoff goal, and it wins in the Stanley Cup Final for his team.”
Olczyk on Gunnarsson goal: “There was a delayed call coming up against the Bruins so (the Blues) had the extra attacker. The screen by Alex Pietrangelo…no chance for Rask to see that shot.”
Olczyk: “An incredible response after two tough periods in Game 1 for the St. Louis Blues.”
Milbury on Marchand: “Brad Marchand is making mistakes that any rookie would make in a playoff game. I’m not sure exactly why…when you see a player making a turnover at the blue line, you know he’s not having a good night, and this is repeated turnovers…Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak are not nearly good enough.”
Jones on Tarasenko: “He is in the zone right now. That is great news for the St. Louis Blues. Every time he’s on the ice he is creating something. The puck is following him.”
Emrick on riveting third period: “Don’t you just love this sport?”
Sharp on Tarasenko: “He’s scoring big-time goals for the St. Louis Blues. That second period was as good as they’ve played in recent times…this is where you pay the big money to Vladimir Tarasenko to cash in.”
Sharp on physicality: “The feeling out process in this series is over. These two teams don’t like each other. That second period was as physical a period as we’ve seen in these Stanley Cup Playoffs.”
Jones on physicality: “There’s been a tremendous carryover…Torey Krug is on the end of a couple of big hits. He has been a target and so have the defense throughout, and so has their goaltender.”
McHugh on physicality: “The hits just keep on coming, but the score remains the same – physical, bruising period.”
Emrick: “No scoring plays. But a lot else happened.”
Olczyk on Nordstrom during Bruins penalty kill: “A goal-scoring machine in the first period. A shot-blocking machine in the second period…the little things that make a difference.”
Milbury on Tarasenko goal: “Brad Marchand needs to stay with Schwartz. It gives Chara no chance. At 42 years of age, he’s not catching Schwartz…this is a very unforgivable mistake by Marchand. He and Pastrnak have not been good in this game. They weren’t good in Game 1, and if they don’t get better, it’s going to be a long series for the Bruins.”
Jones on the first period: “If you are a Blues fan, you’re not hating that first period. You’re loving it.
Olczyk on Vladimir Tarasenko goal, 2-2: “Brad Marchand comes over and makes it a 2-on-1…once Marchand went at Tarasenko, he’s got to get the puck or the man. He got neither.”
McGuire on Tarasenko goal, 2-2: “Tarasenko never quit on this play. He stays with it and roofs the backhand up and over…and I agree, Eddie. If you know that you’ve got Charlie McAvoy up the ice, you can’t be committing if you are Brad Marchand.”
Olczyk on Joakim Nordstrom goal, 2-1 Bruins: “That turnover by David Perron. That puck has got to get out when you are 10-15 feet inside of your blue line. You can’t give free opportunities to a team like Boston.”
Olczyk on Robert Bortuzzo goal, 1-1: “What a shift for Pat Maroon. This was an extended shift with defensemen pressing in and getting to the net. What a hardworking shift and it goes off the knee of Grzelcyk in front.”
Olczyk on Charlie Coyle goal, 1-0 Bruins: “Charlie Coyle comes right down Main Street…That is a soft goal. You’ve got to get a stop. It was a quick release, but you’ve got to get a save.”
NHL Live on NBCSN (6-8 p.m. ET)
Milbury on importance of Game 2: “If the St. Louis Blues can’t win this, I don’t see them beating the Bruins four out of five.”
Sharp on Tarasenko: “He’s got all of the tools that you need to be a superstar in this league and he’s showing it in the Playoffs right now. He’s playing hard every night. It’s not just the offense, it’s the full 200-foot game.”
Mleczko about the current state of professional women’s hockey: “I’m proud as a former pioneer that they are still pioneering. They are still doing things for the future generation. It’s hard to see them do it again. It’s been 21 years since we won the first gold medal and I’m a little bit anxious. I hope that it’s going the right way. We don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m really proud of their strength and perseverance.”
Boucher on Blues’ lack of offense in Game 1: “They’ve got to get more pucks to the net… St. Louis didn’t really get much action in front of Tuukka Rask. He gets a 60-minute effort to get his feet wet once again and get reacclimated in the playoffs.”
Sharp on Bruins forward Sean Kuraly, who scored the Game 1 game-winning goal: “He reminds me of Dave Bolland. They play a similar role and have a little bit of different styles…every team that wins a Stanley Cup has huge top end talent and we had that in Chicago. Players like Dave Bolland, that center that took on top checking assignments, you’re watching the Bruins get that out of Sean Kuraly right now.”