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Stanley Cup Final

Blues looking ahead to Game 4 in Stanley Cup Final

Ability to respond allows confidence to remain against Bruins

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues admittedly fumbled their way to a 7-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on Saturday.

They were at it again Sunday. Only this time, it happened at the press conference podium.

Forwards Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko were in the process of sitting down in front of their microphones when they briefly stumbled, sending their respective name plates tumbling on the table.


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Their reaction? Instant laughter.

It was, perhaps, symbolic of a Blues team that has been able to overcome adversity throughout the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Less than 24 hours after their worst defeat of the spring, they were laughing at themselves.

Why linger in the past when the future is all that matters?

"The game was over yesterday, so we were looking for a win too," forward Vladimir Tarasenko said. "I know the fans may be like upset -- we're upset too -- but we need to step over it and get ready for next game.

"The next game will be huge. We have a chance to bounce back and tie the series. This is all we're thinking right now."

Video: Schwartz on the Blues needs heading into Game 4

To Tarasenko's point: St. Louis was in mourning after the loss. The city waited 49 years to host a Stanley Cup Final game, and that long-anticipated moment finally arrived with concerts outside the arena to a list of celebrities inside that included actor Jon Hamm, actress Jenna Fischer, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce.

But all that energy hurt the Blues more than it helped them. Their adrenaline surge led to seven minor penalties, many of the undisciplined variety. The Bruins capitalized on the power play, going 4-for-4 on four shots.

Schenn said the Blues must calm down and have more of a workman-like attitude in Game 4 here on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). They know what's at stake.

"Any time you lose, I think the emotions are so high in every playoff game," Schenn said. "When you don't get the result you want, you come to the rink the next day or you have a sleep that night and you have that bitter feeling where you feel whether you let it slip away or you didn't get the result you wanted.

"You're angry for a day. But coming to the rink today down 2-1, we knew it was going to be a tight series, a long series. Like [Tarasenko] said, we flip the page, worrying about tomorrow getting a win and that's all that really matters."

The Blues' ability to reboot and move ahead has been on prominent display this spring; St. Louis is 8-2 in games following a loss. Rookie goalie Jordan Binnington, who was pulled after giving up five goals on 19 shots on Saturday, is 12-2 with a 1.82 goals-against average after a defeat in his brief NHL career.

Video: Bruins exploit, chase Binnington for first time

"We're going to be fine tomorrow," coach Craig Berube said. "Our guys will be dialed in, ready to go. They've always responded well after a loss."

Especially Binnington.

"My confidence level (in him) is high," Berube said. "He's always rebounded really well and he'll be starting tomorrow."

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo said Binnington's teammates draw inspiration from the way he is able to shake off poor performances.

"I think the way he carries himself is with a quiet confidence, from a guy who obviously believes strongly in what he does and it's something that resonates through our group," Bortuzzo said. "He's been a rock for us. He's come back strong in every game, which is a testament to mental fortitude. We're lucky to have him."

One area the Blues need improvement is their collective performance at home, where they are 5-6 in the playoffs. They are 8-3 on the road.

"At this stage of the game, there's no manufacturing of desperation," Bortuzzo said. "You want to go in with that hunger every night.

"At this point, we know how hard wins are to come by. It's an absolute grind. You pour everything into it every night. It's not hard to find desperation at this point."

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