The St. Louis Blues are one win away from winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history following a 2-1 Game 5 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., tonight on NBC. The series moves to Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo., for Game 6 on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
The Blues took a 2-0 lead on David Perron’s eventual game-winning goal midway through the third period, which was scored shortly after a controversial no-call on a trip by Blues forward Tyler Bozak on Bruins forward Noel Acciari.
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 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, featuring outdoor sets in Boston to capture the scene amongst the fans. Mike Tirico hosted Game 5 coverage outside of TD Garden. 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 Boston alongside analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick, Patrick Sharp, Brian Boucher, and Anson Carter. Former Boston Red Sox catcher and captain Jason Varitek also joined the set during pre-game coverage on NHL Live.
NHL Live included:
A feature on Blues head coach Craig Berube and his midseason takeover to turn the team’s season around;
A profile on Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron;
A feature on Blues offseason acquisition Ryan O’Reilly;
A feature narrated by Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day that highlighting the story of Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart, and Bobby Bauer – childhood friends from Kitchener, Ontario, and Bruins teammates in the late 1930’s and 40’s.
Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ET with McHugh, Milbury, Jones and Tirico.
Milbury on no-call: “Acciari gets tripped right here by Bozak. You can see the official has a clear view of it, a crystal-clear view. Look at him. There is nothing to impede his view of the trip, and he does have a clean trip. This is what he saw, no call, and seconds after that the puck is in the back of the Boston net. This is a disaster causing Cam Neely to act like this. I don’t blame him. You work all year long to eliminate 29 teams to get yourself in a position to be two out of three in the Stanley Cup Final and an official blows a call as badly as that was blown. That’s just unforgivable and I don’t know where Kelly Sutherland lines up again but it shouldn’t be refereeing another Stanley Cup Final game.”
Milbury on no-call: “Many storylines here, but the one that’s going to stick for most people is most definitely this poor call, or non-call, on the Boston Bruins. This should never have happened, and Bruins fans have a right to be upset.”
Jones on no-call prior to David Perron’s goal: “That obviously had a direct influence on the goal, because Acciari was still laying on the ice. It looks like he bumped his head when he fell down, so a missed call becomes a disaster for the officials because the puck ends up in the net. Not often that you see a call that’s missed like that then immediately ends up being a goal. This was not a situation that the Bruins wanted to find themselves in.”
Olczyk after DeBrusk goal: “Obviously, with the way things have transpired here, you think about the no-call, the trip on Acciari.”
Olczyk: “Calls made, calls not made are not only altering for that specific game – they can be history-altering.”
Emrick on no-call: “It is a game governed by judgment calls, and when you see what we see on replay, it’s mystifying.”
McGuire on no-call: “That’s a trip. And Bozak puts his hands up. He knows.”
Olczyk on no-call Bozak trip on Acciari: “The reason that the official did not blow the play dead is because St. Louis had possession of the puck in the offensive zone. So even though Acciari was shaken up, the play continued because the Blues had possession and Acciari just barely got to his knees, and the puck ended up in the back of the net. It could have easily been a penalty on Bozak because you saw the leg come out and give him a whiplash type of kick with the skate, and there you see him looking.”
Sharp: “I never liked playing with 11 forwards and seven (defensemen), it always messed me up as a forward.”
Milbury: “(The Bruins) have to find the speed game that they generated in the first period. The problem with that is I don’t think they can do it against St. Louis. St. Louis defense is strong, much quicker than we thought, their exits are easy, simple, they’re getting it in deep, and the pressure of the forwards of St. Louis has been incessant. I don’t know if they can get the job done.”
Milbury on O’Reilly: “Look at the attitude on him. He’s meant to be here right now, there’s no second-guessing. This guy’s got lots of confidence.”
Jones on O’Reilly: “He scored the goal, but he has influenced the game in so many different ways…he’s got the A-game going, it was demonstrated clearly in the previous game, and he’s continued to get to the net here using his great hockey sense to create chances and bury a goal here.”
Olczyk: “David Krejci slides in and saves the day with Rask down and out. Remember that save.”
Emrick: “Krejci made the save that kept this from being 2-0.”
McGuire: “O’Reilly is just en fuego right now. Every aspect of his game is just outstanding. He’s winning races, he’s not the fastest player. He’s out-battling people, he’s not the biggest guy. His hockey sense is exquisite.”
Olczyk on O’Reilly’s goal: “Once you have a goaltender down, you’ve got to move the puck laterally and that’s what O’Reilly does.”
McGuire on Zach Sanford’s assist to O’Reilly: “Zach Sanford, put on this line before Game 4, this is his third assist in three games. Through the legs, patience from O’Reilly, he puts it up and over Charlie McAvoy, and look at that play from O’Reilly. What a spectacular finish off the feed by Sanford.”
Milbury: “Binnington was just right on it, right on top of it the entire game. And when he wasn’t right on top of it, he got a little bit lucky… Now it’s up to the Blues to get their game back. Dump it out, dump it in, you can see semblances of it. They need to show more of it.”
Milbury: “Jordan Binnington was simply outstanding, by far the best he’s played. The Blues just wanted to survive this period from my estimation. They knew there was going to be a big push by the Boston Bruins, the emotional start to this game, and then they threw some great opportunities at them.”
Jones on Zdeno Chara: “I saw a team that was energized with his return to the lineup.”
Tirico: “High stakes, high energy, high emotion after 20.”
Emrick on the first period: “17 shots to 7, Boston. Lots of collisions.”
Olczyk on Ivan Barbashev’s hit on Marcus Johansson: “That is a high heavy hit that caught him right in the jaw. Johansson opened up right there…the NHL reviews all hits whether they are penalties or not. Anything that is close, they will look out regardless of what the call or non-call is on the ice.”
NHL Live on NBCSN (6 – 8 p.m. ET)
Olczyk on Zdeno Chara starting Game 5: “I’m not surprised. Hockey players, this time of year, somehow find a way.”
McHugh: “Chara is on the ice with his teammates. We were here for a couple games, Game 1 and 2. This is the loudest we’ve heard it at this moment.”
Milbury on the scene in Boston: “I started with the Bruins in ’74 and left in the early ‘90s, and have lived around here most of my life. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s amazing – a mass of humanity, and it’s been fun to be a part of it.”
Tirico on the series: “There’s no momentum in this series and I think that’s ratcheted up. Now we have a best two out of three, no momentum, big question about the biggest – literally and figuratively – player for Boston, the team with the two games at home. This is so fascinating. This is what makes a great series, these pivot points here.”
Boucher on Jordan Binnington in Game 4: “That was a team victory for the St. Louis Blues, and that’s important because when you give up five goals and get pulled in the prior game, it’s important to get a game where you feel good about yourself again. I think that was the case in Game 4.”
Roenick on the Blues and head coach Craig Berube: “It’s one of the most remarkable turnarounds we’ve ever seen in sports.”
Sharp on Chara: “This doesn’t look like a guy who’s out there for inspirational and emotional purposes. He looks to me like he’s getting ready to play a hockey game. And if he does, what a lift that would be to the Boston Bruins.”
Sharp on Chara: “The scene a couple nights ago in St. Louis was an ugly one. Puck to the face, lot of people reporting a broken jaw – either way, there are some teeth missing. It’s an ugly, ugly feeling.”
Tappen on Chara during media availability: “He did not respond to media questions, he answered questions on a piece of paper.”