One of the few things Boston sports fans have not experienced during their run of titles across the four major sports is a Stanley Cup Final Game 7 at home.
That changes Wednesday when the Boston Bruins host the St. Louis Blues. It will mark the first time a Game 7 will be played in the Stanley Cup Final since 2011, when Boston went into Vancouver and captured the championship.
Since 2000, the Stanley Cup Final has reached a Game 7 on six occasions, with five of the six won by Eastern Conference teams.
Date: Wednesday, June 12
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports app
B/R Betting @br_betting
Opening Game 7 odds, via @CaesarsPalace Blues: +150 Bruins: -165 https://t.co/bKa2nK5YUy
Boston 3, St. Louis 2
History is on the side of the Bruins.
Four of the last six Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Final have been won by the home team, and one of the two times that a road club won during that stretch was Boston’s 2011 triumph in Vancouver.
While there has been plenty of roster turnover since Boston’s last Stanley Cup run (the team made it to the 2013 Finals before losing to Chicago in six games), a few key pieces remain on the roster, including Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
In the 4-0 win over Vancouver eight years ago, Bergeron and Marchand each scored a pair of goals to secure the Stanley Cup.
Bergeron and Marchand could find themselves in a similar position Wednesday, as they have been two of the top impact players in Boston’s offense.
When Marchand scores in a playoff game, the Bruins are close to unbeatable, as they are 25-1 in the postseason when he finds the back of the net, per ESPN’s John Buccigross:
Bucci Mane @Buccigross
Brad Marchand (BOS): PP goal, assist; 9th goal this postseason and 30th of postseason career. Bruins are now 25-1 all-time in the playoffs when Marchand scores a goal (8-0 this postseason). https://t.co/aqv3VXSs44
That remarkable record was extended in Game 6, as Marchand opened the scoring on a power-play goal. Marchand also picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s third-period goal.
Even though its top line produced two goals in Game 6, Boston still needs more out of Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak in order to ensure the Stanley Cup does not leave TD Garden with the Blues.
In the series, Boston’s top three forwards combined for five goals and eight assists, but they went through a two-game scoring drought when St. Louis took control of the series in Games 4 and 5.
The Bruins’ ability to bounce back and score five goals in Game 6 was impressive, but now St. Louis has an opportunity to do what it has done best in the playoffs.
In the last two rounds, the Blues are 4-0 in games following a loss and have only lost two games in a row on two occasions this postseason.
Part of the ability to rebound from losses comes from the mentality of Jordan Binnington in net, as he has not let poor performances get to him.
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
After Boston chased Binnington during its seven-goal outburst in Game 3, the 25-year-old came back in Game 4 and held the Bruins to two goals.
Although St. Louis has proved it is capable of bouncing back, Game 7 will be a different animal with the Bruins flying high on confidence and Tuukka Rask starring in net. The 32-year-old has played well at home, as he has not given up more than three goals at TD Garden all postseason.
If Boston gets out to another fast start and Rask is able to keep St. Louis off the scoreboard in the first 20 minutes, it should set the tone for the rest of the game and the B’s should hoist the Stanley Cup.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.