O’Reilly scores two goals as Blues tie Stanley Cup Final with 4-2 victory
ST. LOUIS – After a 7-2 drubbing in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the St. Louis Blues came into the Enterprise Center determined to avoid a poor start and get off the blocks in the opening frame. Center Ryan O’Reilly proved to be the biggest factor for The Note en route to a 4-2 victory, evening the series at two games apiece.
The win gave the Blues its first Stanley Cup home victory in franchise history.
The Blues were on the attack in the first period, with 13 shots on goal and 24 recorded hits against Bruins players, topping the Boston squad in both categories.
Ryan O’Reilly scored his fourth goal of the postseason with a beautiful wraparound just 43 seconds into the game. O’Reilly secured the puck off a rebounded shot from Vince Dunn, who was making his first appearance in the Cup Final since taking a puck to the face three weeks ago during the Western Conference Finals.
Fans were already hyped up after Blues legend Brett Hull led the crowd at Enterprise Center in the pregame “Let’s Go Blues!” chant. The quick goal from O’Reilly sent fans into a frenzy.
It was the Blues’ sixth time scoring in the first two minutes of a game this postseason. (The Blues won all five games prior to Monday.)
The Bruins knotted the game at a goal apiece at 13:14 with Charlie Coyle’s score. Less than three minutes later, Vladimir Tarasenko split the Bruins defenders and scored off a rebound from Alex Pietrangelo. It was Tarasenko’s 11th goal of the postseason.
Boston’s Zdeno Chara left the ice a bloody mess three minutes into the second period with a face injury. The giant Slovak defender took a puck to the face off a shot from Brayden Schenn.
The Blues maintained discipline as well. The team didn’t record its first penalty of the game until 8:31 into the second period.
The Bruins stifled the Blues’ momentum with Brandon Carlo’s shorthanded goal late into the period.
Jaden Schwartz had a chance to give the Blues the lead after a shot from Tarasenko struck his skates but defenseman Carlo swatted the puck clear from an unguarded crease.
Chara returned to the Bruins’ bench at the start of the third period with a clear cage on his helmet, his bottom lip still swollen and bloodied. He only returned to the ice once during a commercial break to try and rally his team.
O’Reilly put the Blues ahead with his second goal of the game at 10:38 into the period. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stopped an absolute laser of a shot from Pietrangelo but the puck took an unfortunate bounce to a charging O’Reilly. The goal prompted the crowd to burst into singing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” minutes later.
The Bruins pulled Rask with less than two minutes to go in the game and Brayden Schenn made them pay for it, scoring an empty netter just moments later.
Goalie Jordan Bennington made 21 saves in the win, going to 7-2 in the playoffs following a loss. Pietrangelo finished with a pair of assists in the game.
The Blues finished with more shots on goal, hits, and faceoffs won; they only recorded three penalties all game.
Both teams now get two days off as the series returns to Boston. Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final will be Thursday, June 6.