GAME 5 AT BOSTON
When: Thursday, June 6 at 7 p.m. CT
Watch: NBC, NBC Sports App
Listen: KMOX 1120 AM, NHL App
Best-of-seven series tied, 2-2
BOSTON - A strong performance in Game 4 helped the St. Louis Blues to a 4-2 victory against the Boston Bruins and tied the best-of-seven series at 2-2, and that's a place the Blues have found themselves in every round during the Stanley Cup Playoffs so far.
"We want to take advantage of this opportunity. It's something that doesn't come around every day," Jaden Schwartz said Wednesday. "A best of three in the Final? It doesn't get much better than this."
In Games 5, 6 and 7 this postseason, the Blues have a 6-1 record and have outscored opponents 23-9 in those games. It seems the longer a series goes, the better the Blues have played. That is something they will need to continue if they hope to win a Stanley Cup for the first time in the franchise's 52-year history.
"When we get to our game, we're a good hockey team," Pat Maroon said. "It takes us some time, I guess. Figure out how they play, how we need to play, what we need to do. How we can focus on it every shift, every night."
Video: Vitale, Pang preview Game 5 vs. Boston
"I think so far, each and every series, we've gotten better as the series was going on," added David Perron. "We're certainly looking to do the same thing (in Game 5). We have to have our foot on the gas from now on. It's a best-of-three. Again, I think it's another opportunity to be doing that. We're going to be looking to be the team that gets the next win."
The Bruins could be without defenseman Zdeno Chara, who was injured in the second period of Game 4 in St. Louis after Brayden Schenn's shot deflected off his stick and hit him in the face. Chara returned to the bench for the third period but did not take a shift, and he did not practice with the Bruins on Wednesday in Boston.
"I don't think the preparation changes if (Chara) plays or he doesn't play," said Blues Head Coach Craig Berube. "We just got to be ready to go no matter if he's in or out. That team over there is very good. They're going to be hungry and they're going to be desperate. We've got to come with that desperation and hunger too and not worry about if Chara is playing or not."
Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who was injured in Game 2 following a hit from Oskar Sundqvist, was back on the ice for practice Wednesday wearing a no-contact jersey but has not yet been medically-cleared to return.
On Thursday, Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said both Chara and Grzelcyk would be game-time decisions for Game 5.
Video: Blues, Bruins return to Boston for Game 5
THEY SAID IT
On looking ahead to Game 5
"We're going to get Boston's best effort. We got to match it, for sure. But the desperation effort, compete, it's going to be a tough game. I think going into Game 5, just got to get your mind right, get it in the right spot, know how hard the game is going to be… Really the game boils down to one-on-one battles, desperation plays, how hard you're competing, things like that."
On building on what Blues did in Game 4
"We saw each team after a loss was able to turn the page and have a good performance. Now it's up to us to find a way to carry the momentum into the next game and play a very similar way."
On being disciplined and limiting Boston's power-play opportunities
"Obviously emotions run high in games, especially right now. That's something we have to work on, get better at, keep improving on. We feel our biggest strength is playing five-on-five. That's where we want to play the game as much as we can. Obviously we got to stay out of the stuff after whistles. Got to play between the whistles, be really disciplined."
Video: Berube before Game 5
Ryan O'Reilly became just the second player in Blues history to record a multi-goal game in the Stanley Cup Final with a two-goal performance in Game 4… Jordan Binnington is one win shy of tying the NHL record for the most playoff wins by a rookie goaltender in a single postseason. Four goaltenders (Patrick Roy, Matt Murray, Cam Ward and Ron Hextall) have each won 15 playoff games in their rookie seasons… Alex Pietrangelo has set franchise records among Blues defensemen in assists (13) and points (15) this postseason… The Blues are the only team in any of the four major North American sports leagues (NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL) to be in last place after one-quarter or more of the season and still reach the League's championship series or game… Alexander Steen's next game will be his 85th playoff game with the Blues, which will tie Chris Pronger for third on the Blues' all-time postseason list.