BOSTON – – Carl Gunnarsson scored the game-winner 3:51 into overtime as the St. Louis Blues evened the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
Both teams went scoreless following a four-goal first period before Gunnarsson tallied on a slap shot from the blue line on a delayed penalty against Brandon Carlo. The win was the first in finals history for the Blues in 14 chances.
The defeat snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Bruins as they head to St. Louis for Game 3 on Saturday.
Jordan Binnington stopped 21 shots for St. Louis. Tuukka Rask had 34 saves for Boston.
The Blues, who vowed to improve their discipline after committing five penalties in Game 1, were called for five more in Game 2. They found themselves on the kill less than four minutes in when Sammy Blais was whistled for goaltender interference. Subsequently, an unmanned Charlie Coyle chipped the puck through Binnington’s pads to score on the power play for a 1-0 Bruins lead at 4:44.
St. Louis countered less than five minutes later, but Boston answered immediately. After Robert Bortuzzo knotted the score on a shot from the boards with Pat Maroon screening at 9:37, Joakim Nordstrom took advantage of a turnover by David Perron to restore the Bruins’ lead, 2-1, on a backhand goal at 10:17.
The Blues tied the game 2-2 when Vladimir Tarasenko converted a juicy rebound off a Jaden Schwartz shot on a two-on-one at 14:55. The goal extended Tarasenko’s points streak to eight games, one short of the team’s playoff record (Tony Currie, 1981).
Things got testy late in the first period after St. Louis’ Oskar Sundqvist sent Matt Grzelcyk to the ice on a penalized hit into the boards. Boston failed to score on the resulting two-minute minor, and Grzelcyk did not return.
The Bruins killed off two penalties in the second, including a double minor when Connor Clifton got Tyler Bozak with a high stick with 4:21 left. Schwartz was whistled for goaltender interference during the second half of the four-minute power play.
St. Louis also had to kill off two penalties in the middle period, then one in the third period.
Tarasenko missed a handful of shifts in the second period due to an equipment issue.
–Field Level Media