BOSTON (UPI) — The St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night to claim their first NHL championship in franchise history.
Ryan O’Reilly scored for the fourth consecutive contest, becoming the first player to score a goal in four straight Stanley Cup Final games since Wayne Gretzky in 1985. He was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.
Blues head coach Craig Berube, who took over in an interim capacity when Mike Yeo was fired in November, is the fourth coach in the last 11 years to lead his team to the Cup after being hired midway through the season. St. Louis won 30 of its last 49 regular-season games and reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.
St. Louis rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington stabilized the Blues with a masterful first period, stopping a flurry of shots on the penalty kill. He had 12 saves in the opening frame and finished with 32 stops and a .970 save percentage.
The Blues jumped out to a 2-0 lead after goals from O’Reilly and captain Alex Pietrangelo late in the first period. The second period remained scoreless, then Blues forward Brayden Schenn added to their lead with a score midway through the third period.
Zach Sanford iced the game and made it 4-0 with under five minutes remaining. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who returned from a four-game absence due to a concussion, ended Binnington’s bid for a shutout with the Bruins’ lone goal late in the final period.
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 16 shots and forward David Krejci recorded an assist on Grzelcyk’s goal.
Reporting by Connor Grott. Video from NHL and SPORTSNET.
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