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Stanley Cup Final

Blues head home one win from first title after Game 5 of Cup Final

Can clinch against Bruins on Sunday, say it's 'going to be a lot of fun'

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

BOSTON -- One more. After 52 years in the NHL, 4,046 games in the regular season and 389 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the St. Louis Blues need to win one more game to raise the Cup for the first time.

Thanks to a 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Cup Final at TD Garden on Thursday, they lead the best-of-7 series and have a chance to clinch on home ice in Game 6 at Enterprise Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The Cup will be polished. "Gloria," the victory anthem, will be cued up. The fans, who packed the place Thursday to watch on the scoreboard screens even though the action was 1,200 miles away, will be in full throat.

 

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"The building has been rocking," defenseman Colton Parayko said. "This is going to be a lot of fun."

The waiting might be the hardest part.

"It's obviously a lot of emotion that goes through your head and stuff like that," center Brayden Schenn said. "But we've been battling all year. We've been grinding all year. We know obviously what's at stake. We have some veteran guys in the locker room to help us through this, and we're going to be ready for Game 6."

The Blues were last in the NHL the morning of Jan. 3. But they fought back to make the playoffs and fought through three rounds, and they survived in a hostile environment when they did not play close to their best Thursday.

Video: Blues are one win away from first NHL championship

Derek Sanderson and Bobby Orr, who combined on the clinching goal against St. Louis in the 1970 Cup Final, the play that sent Orr flying and inspired a statue outside, fired up the Boston crowd as banner captains.

Then came Zdeno Chara, the Bruins captain. The defenseman had taken a puck to the face in the second period of Game 4 and sat on the bench in the third period with a full shield. Now he was standing on the ice three days later.

When the public address announcer introduced Chara as part of the starting lineup, TD Garden roared. The PA announcer paused to let the moment last a little longer.

What were the Blues thinking?

"Let's just get going," defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said.

The Bruins outhit the Blues 43-34 and outshot them 39-21, including 17-8 in the first period and 14-7 in the third. They had 55.17 percent of the 5-on-5 shot attempts and more of the Grade A scoring chances.

But Jordan Binnington, the rookie who took over as the No. 1 goalie Jan. 7 and led the Blues out of last place, played his best game of the series and perhaps the playoffs. He made 38 saves, absorbed rebounds and held his ground.

"Unbelievable," Parayko said. "Obviously he won one for us here. It was a huge game by him, very impressive. I mean, I don't really know. I could talk about that performance all day. It was unreal. So good for him. That was awesome."

Video: Binnington stops 38 shots in the Blues Game 5 victory

St. Louis also got a lot of breaks, none bigger than on the winning goal. Blues center Tyler Bozak's right leg clipped Bruins forward Noel Acciari's left leg from behind, knocking him down. The Bruins were upset no penalty was called.

But that's not all. While Acciari stayed down, Perron ended up with the puck on the right wing and tried to center it for Bozak. It hit Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. The puck came back to Perron, and he tried to center it for Bozak again. It hit the inside of goalie Tuukka Rask's right pad, slipped between Rask's pads and slid into the net, giving the Blues a 2-0 lead at 10:36 of the third period.

"Probably not as pretty as we'd like it to be, but we gutted it out," Schenn said. "We got the job done. … They took it to us for most of that game. We sat back maybe a little bit too much. We're going to have to change that for Game 6."

The Blues cannot expect to win if they play that way again. They cannot get caught up in the excitement in the city.

"The way that we'll have success is by playing our game and not listening to the noise the next couple days here, and really be dialed in and focused to provide a better effort than tonight for sure," Perron said. "They're going to be extremely desperate, and they're going to look to play their best game."

Video: STL@BOS, Gm5: Perron slides puck through Rask's pads

After the final horn Thursday, Perron grabbed the puck on his way to celebrate with his teammates. It will go in a rack in St. Louis where the Blues keep a puck from each of their wins.

"Our board is full right now," Perron said. "There's one more spot left to finish it off. It worked out that way with all our regular-season wins. It's kind of funny. It's awesome."

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