The St. Louis Blues can end the longest wait by an NHL team for its first championship by defeating the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET: NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). A victory would give St. Louis its first NHL title in its 51 seasons in the League. The Los Angeles Kings, who won the Cup for the first time in 2012, their 44th NHL season, hold that distinction.
The Blues can become the second team in as many years to win the Stanley Cup for the first time, following the Washington Capitals, who won last year in their 43rd season. The last time there were consecutive first-time Cup winners was a three-season stretch that saw the Tampa Bay Lightning (2004), Carolina Hurricanes (2006) and Anaheim Ducks (2007) win their first championships.
St. Louis is 30-26 (.538) in potential series-clinching games, including 17-9 at home (.654) and 3-0 in this year's playoffs. The Blues can become the third team in NHL history with four series-clinching victories at home in one playoff year; they would join the 1988 Edmonton Oilers and 2007 Ducks.
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Overall, teams with a 3-2 advantage under the best-of-7 format own a 315-87 series record (.784), including 32-8 (.800) in the Stanley Cup Final and 5-4 (.556) in 2019.
The Blues lead 3-2 in a best-of-7 series for the 14th time in their history and the third time this year. St. Louis is 11-2 in the previous 13 instances (.846) when leading a series 3-2, winning Game 6 on six occasions. Their only series losses in this scenario came in the 1996 Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings and the 2003 Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Vancouver Canucks.
Bruins aim to force Game 7, replicate 2011
The Bruins will try to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final for the 17th time in history -- and the first since their Cup-clinching victory in 2011 against Vancouver. Boston also aims to become the ninth team in NHL history to win the Cup after trailing 3-2 in the Final, another feat last achieved by the Bruins in 2011.
The 2011 Bruins joined the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins, 2004 Lightning, 2001 Colorado Avalanche, 1971 Montreal Canadiens, 1964 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1950 Red Wings and 1942 Maple Leafs as the only teams to win the Cup after trailing 3-2 entering Game 6.
Overall, the Bruins trail 3-2 in a best-of-7 series for the 25th time since entering the NHL in 1924. They are 4-20 in those series. In addition to the victory against the Canucks in the 2011 Cup Final, the Bruins rallied to defeat the Maple Leafs in the 1941 NHL Semifinals, the Canadiens in the 1994 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and the Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference First Round this year.
If they win Games 6 and 7, the Bruins would become the seventh team in NHL history to win multiple best -of-7 series in one playoff year after losing three of the first five games. The 2014 Kings were the last to do so, rallying to defeat the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round and the Ducks in the second round before winning the Cup. The last team to make one of those comebacks in the Stanley Cup Final was the 1971 Canadiens, who trailed the Bruins 3-2 after five games in the NHL Quarterfinals and the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in the Final.
Schwartz, Pietrangelo lead Blues in potential series-clinchers
Blues forward Jaden Schwartz has nine points (four goals, five assists) in 10 potential series-clinching games, tying him with defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (nine points; one goal, eight assists in 11 games) for the most among current Blues. Three of the four goals by Schwartz came in St. Louis' 3-2 series-clinching win against the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference First Round this postseason.
Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, who would set an NHL single-year rookie playoff record with his 16th win, is 3-0 with a 1.17 goals-against average and .947 save percentage when St. Louis can clinch a series. Binnington can become the 14th different rookie goalie in NHL history to earn a Stanley Cup-clinching win. He would join Ken Dryden (1971 Canadiens), Patrick Roy (1986 Canadiens), Cam Ward (2006 Hurricanes) and Matt Murray (2016 and 2017 Penguins) as the only ones to do so in the expansion era (since 1967-68).
Video: Binnington's historic performance continues in Final
Krejci big for Bruins in win-or-go-home games
Forward David Krejci leads the current Bruins with 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in 20 games when Boston has faced a win-or-go-home game. That's the second-highest total in Bruins history behind Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque, who had 36 points (six goals, 30 assists) in 34 such games.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is 5-5 in 10 games when Boston had to win to extend its season (2.64 GAA, .899 save percentage), including 2-0 during the 2019 playoffs (1.50 GAA, .947 save percentage).
Rask has excelled in road games during the 2019 playoffs. He's 7-3 with a 1.81 GAA, a .947 save percentage and two shutouts.
Overall, he's 22-18 in 40 road playoff games during his career, with a 2.00 GAA, a .936 save percentage and five shutouts. His career postseason save percentage on the road is the best among goalies since 1955-56, when shots on goal became an official NHL statistic (minimum 30 road games played). His career goals-against average on the road in the playoffs is the second-lowest in NHL history (minimum 30 games) behind only Turk Broda (1.87 GAA).