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O'Reilly, Binnington among top performers for Blues in Cup Final Game 5

Honor roll, stock watch from St. Louis win against Bruins

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / NHL.com Senior Director of Editorial

Who played well in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final? Sometimes it's easy to tell, sometimes it isn't. NHL.com graded the players in the 2-1 victory by the St. Louis Blues against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Thursday that gave the Blues the lead in the best-of-7 series. Here are the players and trends that stood out the most.

 

[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]

 

Honor roll

Ryan O'Reilly (Blues) -- The center had a magnificent game. Most importantly, he scored the first goal, 55 seconds into the second period, on a hard drive to the net. But he was good in many other areas as well. O'Reilly played 19:19, killed penalties, played on the power play, had three blocked shots and three takeaways. He also won 19 of 28 face-offs (68 percent).

Video: STL@BOS, Gm5: O'Reilly scores off Sanford's nice feed

Jordan Binnington (Blues) -- He played his best in the biggest game to date in his NHL career. With his 15th win of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Binnington tied Cam Ward (2006 Carolina Hurricanes), Matt Murray (2016 Pittsburgh Penguins), Patrick Roy (1986 Montreal Canadiens) and Ron Hextall (1987 Philadelphia Flyers) for most wins by a rookie goalie in a single postseason. He set the record for road wins (nine) by a rookie in one postseason, passing Hextall, and his 38 saves in Game 5 tied Glenn Hall of the Blues for second most by a rookie goalie in a regulation game in the Stanley Cup Final since 1956. Hextall (Game 7, 1987) and Rogie Vachon (Game 2, 1967, Canadiens) each had 40.

Video: STL@BOS, Gm5: Binnington gets help for huge late save

Zach Sanford (Blues) -- Sanford re-entered the lineup for Game 3 after being a healthy scratch since playing in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round against the Winnipeg Jets on April 14. He has been a difference-maker, with an assist in each of his three games. In Game 5, his deft pass set up O'Reilly's goal, a backhand under the bar. Sanford finished with two shot attempts and three hits in 11:17.

Zdeno Chara (Bruins) -- Does it really matter what Chara did in the game? Merely playing in it made him a star on this night. Chara sustained a facial injury in the second period of Game 4, but he was one of the starters in Game 5. As he stood on the blue line for introductions, with a plastic jaw protector attached to his helmet, the crowd bathed him in cheers. Chara played 16:42 and had two shots on goal, four hits and three blocked shots.

Video: STL@BOS, Gm5: Fans give Chara rousing ovation

Tuukka Rask (Bruins) -- The goalie made far fewer saves than Binnington, but many of his 19 saves were of the Grade A variety. He had little chance on the goal by O'Reilly, and the winner by David Perron changed direction when it hit a stick.

 

Stock watch

Blues penalty kill (up) -- Since allowing four goals on four shots on four opportunities in Game 3, St. Louis has stymied Boston with the man-advantage. The Bruins were 0-for-2 in Game 4 and 0-for-3 in Game 5. The Blues have done a better job of denying entry into the attacking zone and taking away passing seams when the Bruins have been able to establish possession.

Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson (up) -- The combo responsible for one of the biggest goals in Bruins history were reunited as banner captains for Game 5. Orr scored the goal on a pass from Sanderson in overtime of Game 4 to complete a sweep in the 1970 Cup Final. When introduced, Orr and Sanderson each smiled and the crowd roared, setting a perfect tone for the start of the game.

Alex Pietrangelo (up) -- The Blues captain continues to lead the way. He had an assist to put him into a tie for most assists this postseason (14), with O'Reilly, Torey Krug of the Bruins and Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks. The defenseman needs one assist to tie the St. Louis record for one postseason, set by Bernie Federko in 1982.

Bruins top line (down) -- David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each was held without a point and does not have a 5-on-5 goal in the series. Each got extra ice time because the Bruins played 11 forwards instead of 12. Pastrnak and Bergeron each was minus-1 in Game 5.

Jay Bouwmeester (up) -- The 35-year-old defenseman played 29:08 in Game 5, the most by any skater. Bouwmeester has played 1,184 regular-season games and 73 postseason games in the NHL without winning the Stanley Cup. He had one shot on goal, two hits, one blocked shot and one takeaway.

 

What we learned

Bruins need to make more of opportunities 

Boston outshot St. Louis 17-8 in the first period but could not score against the brilliant Binnington. When the Blues scored 55 seconds into the second period, on their 10th shot of the game, the Bruins spent the rest of the night chasing the game.

The Blues are driven by depth

St. Louis has had eight players score at least one goal in this series, and 19 players have scored at least one goal this postseason.

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