BOSTON - The Bruins will be aiming to take a 2-0 series lead on Wednesday night when they host the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden.
After their 4-2 comeback victory in the series opener, Boston expects a pointed response from the Blues, who would like nothing more than to even the series before it shifts to Enterprise Center for Games 3 and 4.
"We expect a desperate team that's gonna push," said Danton Heinen. "It's something that we've got to be ready for…they're a heavy team, they're kind of built like us, they kind of play like us, too. They want to take the puck and grind you out down low. I thought we did a good job of closing quick and trying to limit that. That's something we've got to keep on doing."
On the other side, St. Louis coach Craig Berube said that his team must "manage the puck a lot better" to have more success in Game 2.
"We had a good first period," said Berube. "We were tight, connected. I thought the second period, we got loose, not supporting the puck enough and just turning it over in the wrong areas really fueled their momentum. And the penalties, for sure, too. We've got to clear up the penalties. We can't take five penalties in a game."
Those penalties, however, did not hurt St. Louis, as the Bruins converted on just one of those opportunities during Game 1.
"Credit to St. Louis for doing a good job defending the blue line on our entries; we weren't able to get in as efficiently as we'd like," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "I thought we made some plays in zone that we missed on some opportunities to finish plays, so part of that is on our execution.
"Not up to our standard or what we've typically been able to do in terms of execution, so that was what I saw, lack of execution. Part of that might have been, even though you're practicing, it's not live for 10 days. And then St. Louis does a good job. They're long; they protect the slot, did a good job with their sticks."
Video: Bruins blueliners discuss Game 2
Cassidy seemed to indicate that Patrice Bergeron's line would return to its orginal matchup against the Blues' top line of Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, and Jaden Schwartz. During Game 1, Boston's bench boss switched Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak off of that assignment in favor of the B's fourth line.
"We'll probably go back to it at some point," said Cassidy. "Whether we start that way or not…it's what we've typically done all year, Bergy's going to get a hard matchup. What I mean by hard, not hard all game, but who we feel the other team is the biggest threat or one of their biggest threats.
"I imagine Bergy will go back. I didn't think they were that bad. As the game wore on, they got some looks, had a real good chance right out of the gate on a faceoff play…we just didn't manage some pucks and allowed them some point-blank chances, and that's dangerous against that line."
Video: Head coach Bruce Cassidy talks adjustments for G2
St. Louis forward Robert Thomas will not play in Game 2 because of an injury, according to Berube. Thomas was on the wrong end of Torey Krug's crushing hit during the third period of Game 1, though Berube said the ailment was unrelated.
"Nothing to do with the hit," said Berube. "Yesterday I made that decision that I was going to take him out. He's hurt."
With Thomas sidelined, fellow third-liners Pat Maroon and Tyler Bozak will need to adjust without the 19-year-old, who has six points (goal, five assists) in 20 postseason games.
"Obviously it's a change, for sure, but these guys are veteran players that have been around a long time, so they'll be fine," said Berube. "I mean, just going to be a different look for them, that's all."
Berube said that Robby Fabbri, who has played in eight games during the playoffs, could replace Thomas in the lineup, but that it's a game-time decision.
"He's a tenacious player, he's quick, gets on the puck, he's a competitive kid," said Berube. "He's got the ability to score goals, we've seen that in the past from him. Those are the types of things we're going to look for if he's in."
Video: STL coach Berube discusses changes for Game 2
Wednesday's Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - David Backes
Marcus Johansson - Charlie Coyle - Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Scratches: Steven Kampfer, Karson Kuhlman, Kevan Miller (lower-body) John Moore, and Chris Wagner (arm).
Video: Forwards discuss upcoming Game 2