St Louis (3-3) at Boston (3-3)
When: Wednesday, June 12th, 2019
Where: TD Garden,
Time: 8:08 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Boston -165/5
The Toronto Raptors had a chance to clinch the NBA Finals on their homecourt, only to get stunned at the end by Golden State. Well, the St. Louis Blues also had a chance – with a 3-2 series lead – to claim their first ever Stanley Cup at home, but couldn’t solve the tough Boston Bruins defense. Now, it’s down to the absolute final game of the 2018-19 NHL season. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Blues and Bruins takes place Wednesday night at TD Garden, as the city of Boston seeks its third championship in six months and the Bruins seventh Cup overall. Boston took care of the Blues 5-1 in St. Louis in Game 6, as Tuukka Rask made 28 saves, and the beat-up Boston defense held the Blues to just one goal on the night despite a raucous St. Louis crowd looking for any opportunity to celebrate. For the St. Louis Blues, Game 7 will be the final test in a season that’s been an uphill battle. The Blues have been resilient since the beginning of January, coming back from last place overall in the league to the final game of the season and a possible parade for the city. Home teams own a 12-4 record in Game 7s of the Stanley Cup Final, although the road club has won each of the last two – Pittsburgh in 2009 and Boston in 2011 at Vancouver.
Ryan O’Reilly has matched a franchise record with 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) and has scored four goals and a helper in his last three games. Binnington, who allowed four goals on 31 shots in Game 6 on Sunday and was pulled in Game 4, will have a second chance to set the single postseason rookie win total of 16 should he help his team lift the Cup. He is 7-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average in games after defeats this postseason.
The core group of Bruins – Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Chara and Rask were around when they took down Vancouver in Game 7 of the 2011 Final. Rask added to his potential Conn Smythe Trophy-winning resume by stopping 28 shots on Sunday, including 12 while St. Louis was on the power play. Rask owns a .938 save percentage in the playoffs including .973 in elimination games this spring. Chara will be playing in his 14th career Game 7, passing Patrick Roy and Scott Stevens for the most in NHL history.
The Bruins are heavily favored in this game – and should be – but the Blues haven’t given up when facing adversity. They actually play much better on the road (9-3) and are a perfect 7-0 when trailing or tied in a series this postseason. I’ll take the Blues here.
Pick: Blues +150