Carl Gunnarsson scored the game winning goal 3:51 into overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The win tied up the series at one game apiece, with Game 3 scheduled for Saturday night in St. Louis.
Gunnarsson Makes Up for Near Miss With OT Goal
Game 2 started with a flurry of action, as the two teams traded goals twice in the first period to leave the score tied at 2-2.
The game remained finely balanced right through the final minutes of regulation. With just about two minutes left in the third period, Gunnarsson beat Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, but saw the puck clang off the post, leaving the score tied as time expired.
“[I shot the puck] as hard as I could, yeah,” Gunnarsson told reporters about the shot after the game. “I knew I had it past him, but then I saw it sitting in the crease. I was hoping someone would poke it in, but that didn’t happen.”
After the third period ended, Gunnarsson apparently talked to Blues coach Craig Berube, telling him that he just needed one more chance to win the game. That played out, with the defenseman drilling a shot from the blue line for the winning goal on a delayed penalty.
“I don’t score too many, but nothing comes even close to this,” Gunnarsson said after the game. “So it’s a pretty good feeling right now.”
It was the first Stanley Cup playoff goal of Gunnarsson’s career. He scored just three goals this season, and has a total of 28 over his 10-year career with the Blues and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“He had a hell of a game, I thought, and I’m really happy for him that he ended up getting that game-winner,” Berube said after the game. “He hit the post in the third there, and he felt good about himself, obviously, which he should have.”
Blues Capture First Stanley Cup Final Win Ever
The win gave the Blues a lift after their 4-2 loss in Game 1, and shifted home-ice advantage to St. Louis, where three of the remaining five games will be played. It also marked the first Stanley Cup Final win in Blues history, as the franchise was swept in each of its first three finals appearances. Those came consecutively between 1968 and 1970, when the Blues advanced to the final out of the all-expansion Western Division.
“That’s just the team we are,” Gunnarsson said. “We come back like that. We never give up. For me to put it in there and get the winner, it’s a great feeling.”
The win promises to make this a competitive series, though the Bruins are still seen as a slight favorite moving forward. While FanDuel Sportsbook has the Blues as a -125 pick to win Game 3 at home over the Bruins (+105), Boston is still the -122 favorite to lift the Stanley Cup, while St. Louis is posted at +104 to win its first championship.