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Stanley Cup Final

Blues excited for buzz in St. Louis prior to Game 3 of Cup Final

Expect enthusiastic atmosphere against Bruins in first home game in championship round since 1970

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Hometown enthusiasm for the St. Louis Blues could reach new heights when they return to Enterprise Center for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN).

Although it was a road game for St. Louis, more than 14,000 fans watched its 3-2 overtime win in Game 2 on Wednesday, which tied the best-of-7 series, on the big screens inside the Blues' home arena.

"Just look at what happened last night," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said Thursday. "They're selling the building out and we're not even there. So we're pretty excited to get back here and show the fans what we can do."

 

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The hero for the Blues in Game 2 was defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. His goal at 3:51 of overtime was his first in 57 Stanley Cup Playoff games and gave St. Louis a split of the first two games in Boston.

"It's going to be awesome," Gunnarsson said looking ahead to Game 3. "Everyone's excited to bring this home. We've seen the pictures and the videos from the Enterprise Center for the first two games and we're not even playing there. So I think everyone's just really happy and excited to take it home here."

Blues forward Ryan O'Reilly said he can't wait to experience the atmosphere of the Final.

Video: Check out the Stanley Cup Live Recap - Game 2

"I don't think I'll be able to describe what it's going to be like," O'Reilly said. "But from what I've seen, I've been very impressed. And we're excited to get home to show what this town's about.

"This is a hockey town and they've been with us through the ups and downs and they're so excited. It's just something new and special and they're a part of it. It's a big piece of it."

Harnessing the energy and enthusiasm that's expected Saturday will be important, but Blues coach Craig Berube added a note of caution for what's to come.

He's concerned that the Blues took five minor penalties in each of the first two games of the series, and the Bruins went 1-for-5 in each game on the power play.

"We're going to have energy, but we've got to make sure we keep our emotions in check, too," Berube said. "That's a big thing. We don't want to be going to the penalty box and being overemotional about things. We've got to keep them in check and be pretty even-keeled out there, but at the same time have emotion in your game but keep it at a good level."

Soaking up the expected buzz of the home crowds is certain to be a factor in Games 3 and 4, Berube said.

St. Louis is 5-3 at home in the playoffs since losing its first two games in the first round. Each of their three series-clinching wins has come at Enterprise Center.

"I'm excited, for sure," Berube said. "Our whole team is, definitely. The fans have been great here. It's been a good run here so far and we've had great support from our fans and the crowd's been awesome during the games. It'll be a good atmosphere, so we've got to be ready.

"It's going to be a tough game, obviously. Boston's a great team. We just got to be ready to go."

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