ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues took a risk that proved costly by challenging for offside late in the first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, but they felt it was necessary.
After Sean Kuraly's goal stood following video review, putting the Bruins up by three with 9.2 seconds left, David Pastrnak scored for Boston 41 seconds into the second period on the resulting power play. It gave Boston a four-goal lead during a 7-2 victory at Enterprise Center.
The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series with Game 4 here Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
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By rule, St. Louis was assessed a delay of game penalty after the challenge because the call was not overturned. When the sequence was over, Boston led 4-0, and a once-raucous crowd had gone quiet.
Blues coach Craig Berube said he felt he had no other choice but to request the coach's challenge to try to stop the Bruins' momentum going into the second period.
"I thought it was 50/50," Berube said of the chances of having the call overturned. "I think if we go in there (trailing) 2-0 (going) into the second, it's a big difference than 3-0."
The Blues contended that Bruins forward Joakim Nordstrom was offside, but the Situation Room confirmed that St. Louis defenseman Joel Edmundson passed the puck into the defensive zone prior to the goal. Rule 83.1 states, in part, "If a player legally carries or passes the puck back into his own defending zone while a player of the opposing team is in such defending zone, the offside shall be ignored and play permitted to continue."
Video: BOS@STL, Gm3: Berube on penalty kill, Game 3 defeat
Berube normally leaves the decision on whether to challenge for assistant/video coach Sean Ferrell to make. St. Louis center Ryan O'Reilly supported Berube's decision but acknowledged it put his team in a bind.
"It's difficult," O'Reilly said. "Obviously them having the 3-0 lead, we want to wipe that period away, and then you're coming out and you're killing. It's tough.
"I think they've got to make that challenge. It was close. It's unfortunate it puts us on the PK and they get one again right off the bat, so it kind of took the wind right out (of us) and (ruined) any chance of that early push that we needed in the start of that second."
The Blues pulled within 4-1 on Ivan Barbashev's goal at 11:05 of the second, but Bruins defenseman Torey Krug made it 5-1 with a power-play goal 1:07 later. St. Louis trailed by that margin entering the third.
"You never know what's going to happen," O'Reilly said. "It's tough. From looking at it from my side, it didn't seem like [Edmundson] had control, but at the end of the day, that's the call that was made and we needed to respond better than we did."