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Facts and Figures: Game 1 winner in Cup Final has history on its side

Team that takes opener has won championship 61 of 79 times since 1939

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

History will be on the side of the winning team when the Boston Bruins host the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Since the NHL adopted a best-of-7 format for the Final in 1939, the team that has won Game 1 has gone on to win the Stanley Cup 77.2 percent of the time (61 of 79 series). However, the Washington Capitals lost the opener to the Vegas Golden Knights last year, then won the next four games to win the Cup for the first time since entering the NHL in 1974.

The winner of Game 1 in any best-of-7 series has an all-time series record of 476-219 (68.5 percent). Game 1 winners this year are 9-5 (64.3 percent).

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blues series coverage]

 

The Bruins are 6-12-1 in their previous 19 Stanley Cup Final openers (5-11 in Game 1 of best-of-7 series). They've won five of their six Stanley Cups championships after winning Game 1; the other came in 2011, when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games after losing Games 1 and 2.

The Blues have not won the Cup since entering the NHL in 1967 and have lost all 12 games they've played in the Cup Final; they were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in 1968 and 1969, and by the Bruins in 1970. St. Louis is trying to become the second team in as many years to win its first NHL championship; that hasn't happened since 2004-07, when the Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks each won for the first time.

Overall, Boston has an all-time record of 53-49 in Game 1 of best-of-7 series (including 38-19 at home). St. Louis is 32-30, (12-18 on the road).

Game 1 of the Cup Final has required overtime 18 times, most recently in 2014 between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. Kings forward Justin Williams scored the winning goal 4:36 into overtime to give Los Angeles a 3-2 win.

 

On a streak

Members of each team will try to continue streaks in Game 1.

Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko aims to extend his point streak to seven games after hitting the score sheet in each of the six games against the San Jose Sharks during the Western Conference Final (eight points; three goals, five assists). If Tarasenko gets a point in Game 1, he would match the third-longest playoff point streak in Blues history; the team record is nine games by Tony Currie in 1981.

Bruins forward David Krejci also enters Game 1 with points in each of his past six games (seven points; two goals, five assists). This marks the third time in the past 27 years a Final will begin with at least one player from each team on a point streak of at least six games. The others: 2009 (Valtteri Filppula of the Detroit Red Wings; Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins) and 2001 (Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora of the New Jersey Devils; Ray Bourque of the Colorado Avalanche).

Video: Krejci on previous Cup runs, team spirit

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask takes a seven-game winning streak into the Cup Final. Rask's streak is the second-longest by a Bruins goalie in one playoff year, behind only a 10-0 run by Gerry Cheevers in 1970. The Bruins have won seven in a row since losing Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round to the Columbus Blue Jackets; that streak is the third-longest in the playoffs for the Bruins since entering the NHL in 1924.

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington has won three in a row and needs one win to become the fifth rookie goalie in NHL history with at least 13 wins in one playoff year.

 

Bruins need power play to keep producing

Boston enters the Final with an NHL-best power-play percentage of 34.0 (17-for-50). Since 1977-78, the only team to finish with a power-play success rate of at least 30.0 percent (minimum 50 opportunities) was the 1981 New York Islanders, who were 31-for-82 (37.8 percent).

St. Louis has allowed nine goals on 41 opportunities (78.0 percent) through the first three rounds of the playoffs. However, the Blues held the Sharks to two goals on 13 chances (84.6 percent) in the Western Conference Final.

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