This year’s Stanley Cup Finals between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins resumes this Thursday night in Boston with Game 5 of a best-of-seven series that is tied at two games apiece. The puck drops at 8 p.m. on NBC.
The Blues opened this series with a 4-2 loss as a +145 road underdog before pulling out a crucial 3-2 overtime road win in Game 2 as +150 underdogs. After losing the first game on its home ice 7-2 as a -120 favorite, St. Louis hammered out a much needed 4-2 victory in Monday’s Game 4 as a -115 favorite at home. The back-and-forth nature of this series points to a loss in Game 5, but the Blues have only lost twice in their last seven playoff games.
The total has gone OVER in three of the first four games in this series, but St. Louis is going to need better consistency lighting the lamp on Thursday night to avoid falling behind for the third time. Center Ryan O’Reilly took matters into his own hands in Monday’s win with two goals. He is now tied with left winger Jaden Schwartz with 18 total points in 23 playoff games. Goalie Jordan Binnington turned away 21 of the 23 shots on goal he faced after getting pulled in the second period of Game 3
Boston was set as a -165 home favorite for Game 1 and it paid off in that two-goal win. Closing as an even higher -170 favorite at home for Game 2, it got upended in overtime. The Bruins are 7-4 overall in 11 home playoff games this year. They lost Game 5 to Toronto at home in the opening round in a series that went the full seven games. Boston did beat Columbus 4-3 at home in Game 5 of that series as a -145 favorite on its way to a win in six games
Adding injury to insult, Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara sustained a broken jaw in Monday’s loss and he remains questionable for Thursday night. Another defenseman Matt Grzelcyk has been out of the lineup since Game 2 with a concussion. At the other end of the ice, the Bruins were held to just two goals in Game 4 after scoring at least four goals in seven of their previous 10 postseason games.
I see things continuing to follow suit with alternating wins as Boston regains the series edge with the victory in Game 5 at home.