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St. Louis Blues vs. Boston Bruins
NHL: Monday, May 27, 2019, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, 8:00 PM ET
The 2019 Stanley Cup Final starts Monday, May 27, 2019, when the Western Conference champions St. Louis Blues visit the Eastern Conference champions Boston Bruins for Game 1 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup, losing three straight finals including a sweep against Boston in 1970, while the Bruins will look for their seventh championship, winning the previous title back in 2011. The Bruins are listed as -155 favorites to win this series, and the Blues are +135 underdogs to win the championship. These two foes split the regular-season series whereas each team has been victorious on the home ice.
The Blues seek a payoff for a lost championship in 1970
The St. Louis Blues (57-33-11) made quite a run from being the worst team in the league in January to the Stanley Cup Finals in May. The Blues have won eight of their last ten games in the regular season and 12 of their 19 outings in the postseason, while Craig Berube’s boys have suffered just two losses in nine showings away from home on their way through the Western Conference Playoffs. They eliminated the Winnipeg Jets in the first round in six games, while the Blues knocked out the Dallas Stars in a seven-game second-round series. In the conference finals, the Blues outlasted the San Jose Sharks in six games, showing some great form in the last two contests where they allowed just one goal to the Sharks and scored ten in a return.
After scoring just 11 goals in his 69 outings in the regular season, winger Jaden Schwartz was a key player for the Blues in the postseason with 12 goals and four assists including a hat-trick in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Sharks. Ryan O’Reilly led the Blues during the regular season with 28 goals and 49 assists, and he scored three goals and 11 assists in 19 playoff contests. Winger Vladimir Tarasenko scored eight goals along with five dishes this postseason, while defenseman Alex Pietrangelo added 11 assists and a couple of goals. Pietrangelo is also averaging 2.1 blocks per game. Jordan Binnington has started between the pipes in all 19 playoff games, setting the franchise record with 12 wins. Binnington has recorded a 2.36 GAA and a .914 save percentage in the postseason, while he’s been excellent in the regular season with a 24-5-1 record, a 1.89 GAA, and a .927 save percentage.
The Bruins are looking to continue with their strong performance
The Boston Bruins (61-28-10) are riding a seven-game winning streak following a 4-0 victory at the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins were on the brink of the elimination in the first round, losing 3-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs, while they were 2-1 down in the second-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets when they started a tremendous run. Boston won three straight games versus the Blue Jackets and swept the Hurricanes in the conference finals while allowing just five goals to Carolina in four contests. During their winning streak, the Bruins are averaging four goals per game, allowing just 1.28 goals in a return. Boston had the 3rd-best defense in the league in the regular season with 2.59 goals allowed per contest.
Winger Brad Marchand tallied 100 points in the regular season with 36 goals and 64 assists, and he’s leading the way for the Bruins in the postseason with seven goals and 11 dishes. Winger David Pastrnak also scored seven goals this postseason along with eight assists. Center Patrice Bergeron netted eight times and made five assists, while center David Krejci added four goals and ten assists. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy made six assists while averaging 2.1 blocks per game. Tuukka Rask has started between the pipes in all 17 playoff contests, recording 12 wins and five losses with a 1.84 GAA and a .942 save percentage. Rask had a 27-13-5 record in the regular season with a 2.48 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
- 7-0 in the last seven games overall
- 15-5 in the last 20 games at home
- 16-2 in the last 18 home encounters with the Western Conference
St. Louis Blues:
- 2-4 in the last six road meetings with the Eastern Conference
- 7-20 in the previous 27 outings in May
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Boston had 11 days to rest and prepare for the finals, while the Blues finished their series six days ago. The Bruins are playing in a tremendous form and have won 15 of their last 20 games at home and 16 of their previous 18 home matchups with the Western Conference. Also, the Bruins have trashed off the Blues 5-2 at TD Garden in the regular season.
When we look at the stats, the Bruins have an advantage, too. They are scoring 3.35 goals per game in the postseason, allowing 1.94 in a return, while the Blues are scoring 3.00 goals per contest and surrendering 2.53 in a return. Likewise, the Bruins’ power play percentage (34.0) and penalty kill percentage (86.3) is much better than the Blues’ (19.4% power play and 78.0% penalty kill). Hereof, I’m taking the Bruins to win Game 1, but I would stick with the money line odds, as this could be easily a really tight clash, considering the fact that both teams play excellent defense.
Prediction: Boston Bruins (-150)
Full-Game Total Pick
As I’ve mentioned, both St. Louis and Boston are playing terrific defense, while the Bruins’ offense has been excellent over the last few weeks. However, with Jordan Binnington and Tuukka Rask between the pipes, I don’t expect to see a high-scoring affair, so I’m taking the under even though the odds are not so tempting.
Prediction: Under 5.5 (-145)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Bruins didn’t lose the 1st period in their last seven outings, recording five ties and a couple of wins in the process. On the other side, the Blues won the 1st period in four of their last five outings along with one loss. However, the Blues will have a tall task to record another win at TD Garden, so I’m going with a tie, expecting to see a tight battle at the start of the clash.
Prediction: Tie (+155)
Half-Time Side Pick
Both St. Louis and Boston rely on their tough defenses, so I don’t expect to see more than a goal in the 1st period. Also, four of the Bruins’ last six games saw a goalless 1st period, while three of the Blues’ previous five contests saw two or more 1st-period goals. Still, the Bruins allowed just one 1st-period goal over their previous five showings at home, so I’m taking the under.
Prediction: Under 1.5 (-135)