(Reuters) – Ryan O’Reilly scored twice including the game winner as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2 in Game Four on Monday to level the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals series.
After an embarrassing 7-2 blowout in Game Three, the Blues responded with their first ever home victory in a Finals, where they have appeared three times before but never won the trophy.
Blues defenseman Colton Parayko said resiliency was nothing new for his squad, which had to battle back from a 2-1 deficit in the conference finals and being 3-2 down in the conference semis to advance.
“I just think we bounce back the proper way every time,” he said.
“Whenever we have a game that we need to win we bring it.”
Staying confident against the Bruins, who are looking to capture their seventh Stanley Cup, was critical, he said.
“We’re a confident group. Throughout the playoffs we’ve been able to rebound after losses and I think that was the biggest part. We had the confidence tonight right from the get go.
“We have to continue to be confident and play our game.”
The Blues struck first with a wrap-around goal from O’Reilly that got past the outstretched skate of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask just 43 seconds into the game.
Boston’s Charlie Coyle tied the game later in the period after he rebounded a shot blocked by Blues goalie Jordan Binnington and fired it from point blank range into the net.
The Blues regained the lead on a second chance opportunity of their own when Vladimir Tarasenko rebounded a blocked shot by Rask and buried it into the back of the net to give the home side a 2-1 lead.
Early in the second period Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara blocked a shot and the puck jumped off his stick and hit him in the mouth, leading to heavy bleeding and sending the team captain out for the remainder of the game.
The Bruins then leveled the game on a short-handed goal by Brandon Carlo, his first of the playoffs, with 5:41 left in the second but O’Reilly struck again on a rebounded shot to put the Blues ahead 3-2.
An empty net goal by Brayden Schenn in the final minutes sealed the win for the home side.
The series shifts back to Boston for Game Five on Thursday.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford)