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Stanley Cup Final

Bozak to face familiar foe in Stanley Cup Final with Blues

Will play against Bruins in postseason for third time in career

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

BOSTON -- No one could have blamed center Tyler Bozak if part of his motivation for signing with the St. Louis Blues on July 1 was to get far away from the Boston Bruins.

It didn't quite work.

For the third time in his four trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bozak will try to go through the Bruins to get what he wants.


[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blues series coverage]


He's closer than ever in his first season with the Blues, who play the Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Bozak was 0-for-2 against Boston in the playoffs in his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, losing in seven games in the Eastern Conference First Round last season and in 2013.

"Yeah, I mean, it is [strange]," Bozak said, laughing.

Video: Bozak on excitement of playing in Stanley Cup Final

Bozak has played seven playoff games at TD Garden, his teams going 3-4, including 1-3 last year with a 7-4 loss in Game 7.

An upper-body injury prevented him from playing Games 6 and 7 of the 2013 series, meaning he wasn't here when the Bruins came back from down 4-1 to win Game 7 in overtime, 5-4.

"Obviously playing in Toronto, they're in the division and a team you have to play through," Bozak said at Stanley Cup Final Media Day on Sunday. "It's nice for me to have the experience of playing in this building in the playoffs in that atmosphere. I think that will help me a little bit."

Bozak said he has heard from former Maple Leafs teammates, all wishing him good luck. It wouldn't have been surprising if one or two included a motivational message along the lines of "Beat those bums," or something more profane, but Bozak said that hasn't happened yet.

"They're just happy for me being here and wish me all the best," Bozak said.

That Bozak is here, still playing this season, brings to light some of his foreshadowing from when he signed his three-year, $15 million contract with the Blues.

He wrote in an article on The Player's Tribune that although he's proud of his accomplishments in Toronto, the regret is that he never won the Stanley Cup.

"I want to win a Cup. So [darn] bad," Bozak wrote. "That's why I signed in St. Louis. There's your headline. Print it."

Here's his chance and once again the Bruins are standing in his way.

Tough to predict that one.

"It's surreal to have this opportunity," Bozak said. "It's something you dream of your whole life, so no matter who we're playing, I'd feel the same way."

Video: SJS@STL, Gm6: Bozak banks in goal off defender


Listen: Stanley Cup Final preview episode of NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast

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