BOSTON — Carl Gunnarsson played hero Wednesday night in Boston.
After scoring two goals apiece in the first period, both teams went silent in the second and third, forcing overtime. And at 3:51 in the extra frame, Carl Gunnarsson scored the winner to give the St. Louis Blues the 3-2 victory over the Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Charlie Coyle and Joakim Nordstrom had the Bruins’ goals, while Robert Bortuzzo and Vladimir Tarsenko scored the Blues’ other tallies.
Tuukka Rask made 34 saves for the Bruins, while Jordan Binnington turned away 21 shots for St. Louis.
Here’s how it all went down:
After falling behind two goals in Game 1, the Bruins were the ones to draw first blood in Game 2. But once the horn sounded after the opening 20 minutes, the game was tied at 2-2.
Sammy Blais was whistled for goaltender interference after plowing into Rask at 3:55, and the Bruins capitalized on the man advantage. Charlie McAvoy sent a nice stretch pass to David Pastrnak at Boston’s offensive blue line. After skating to the middle of the offensive zone, Pastrnak fired a pass to Jake DeBrusk, who was rushing down the wing. Right after passing the end line, DeBrusk turned and zipped the puck to Coyle in the slot, and the center finished at 4:44.
Just before the midway point, the Blues got one back.
Tyler Bozak gathered a loose puck beneath the circle and backhanded a pass across the zone. Bortuzzo ended up being the recipient along the side boards, and he threw a puck to the net. Rask was screened by Patrick Maroon, and the puck snuck in top shelf at 9:37.
The tie was short-lived though, as the Bruins got one back just 40 seconds later. The Blues tried clearing the puck, but Nordstrom did a nice job at the blue line to keep it in. The winger tried to throw the puck in deep, but it was intercepted by David Perron, however Perron’s clearing attempt caught Noel Acciari’s stick, resulting in a loose puck. Sean Kuraly eventually got the puck behind the net and slipped a sweet backhanded pass to Nordstrom, who stopped it with his skate in the slot and switched to his backhand to beat Binnington at 10:17.
The Blues got one more goal before the period was over.
St. Louis had a 2-on-2, but Zdeno Chara got sucked too far over to the puck carrier, Tarasenko. That allowed Tarasenko to find Schwartz without issue, giving Schwartz a wide open chance on Rask. Although Rask made the save, he gave up a juicy rebound, which Tarasenko cleaned up at 14:55 to tie the game.
The Bruins suffered a scare late in the period, when Matt Grzelcyk was drilled in the head on the boards by Oskar Sundqvist. Grzelcyk stayed on the ice for a minute and got some attention from medical staff, then was helped off the ice and down the tunnel.
The Bruins were outshot 10-8 in the first.
SCORELESS, SLOPPY SECOND
There was some ugly hockey played in the second period and neither side could find a goal, sending the game into the final period tied at two.
At 15:39, Connor Clifton was whistled for a double-minor high-stick on Bozak. Some downright valiant shot-blocking by Nordstrom off two shots from the point helped keep the Blues from some quality chances, then just past the halfway point of the man advantage, Schwartz was whistled for interference on Rask, turning it into a 4-on-4.
The Bruins were outshot 14-6 in the second.
TO OVERTIME WE GO
The third period had no shortage of action, but it also was scoreless, forcing overtime.
At 13:22, Brayden Schenn was whistled for slashing, a call that infuriated the Blues bench. However, the Bruins were unable to cash in on the man advantage.
Both teams had nine shots in the third.
GUNNARSSON WINS IT
Throughout the extra period the Bruins struggled mightily to clear the puck out of their zone, and eventually they paid for it.
After less than four minutes of play, the puck found its way up to Gunnarsson at the point, and the defenseman uncorked a monster slap shot that beat Rask at 3:51 to give the Blues the win.
The Bruins and Blues will meet Saturday in St. Louis for Game 3. Puck drop from Enterprise Center is set for 8 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images