Rask spoils Blues' party as Bruins dominate to keep playoff hopes alive

AFP
Goaltender Tuukka Rask, of Finland, was the best player on the ice for the Boston Bruins, stopping 28 shots in a game six Stanley Cup finals win over the St. Louis Blues (AFP Photo/Dilip Vishwanat)

Goaltender Tuukka Rask, of Finland, was the best player on the ice for the Boston Bruins, stopping 28 shots in a game six Stanley Cup finals win over the St. Louis Blues

Goaltender Tuukka Rask, of Finland, was the best player on the ice for the Boston Bruins, stopping 28 shots in a game six Stanley Cup finals win over the St. Louis Blues (AFP Photo/Dilip Vishwanat)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist and Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots as the Boston Bruins forced a game seven in the Stanley Cup finals with a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

Marchand scored on the powerplay and David Pastrnak also had a goal and an assist for the Bruins who leveled the best of seven series at 3-3.

The winner-take-all game seven is Wednesday at Boston.

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"The whole hockey world loves a game seven. May the best team win," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said.

Marchand's goal snapped a mini scoreless streak on the powerplay for the visiting Bruins, who spoiled the Blues' Stanley Cup party plans to improve to 8-3 on the road in the postseason.

Game six was St. Louis' turn to struggle with the man advantage as they went zero-for-five in front of a sold out crowd of 18,800 at Enterprise Arena.

The Bruins have been in this situation before. In the opening round against Toronto they were down 3-2 with game six on the road. They rallied to win the series in seven games.

A victory by the Blues Sunday night would have ended the longest wait in NHL history -- 51 seasons -- for a team to win its first championship.

But they still stand on the cusp of history heading into game seven. They need one more win to complete an improbable turnaround after a season in which they were in last place in the NHL in early January.

- Parade plan mistake -

The Blues playoff run has taken the city by storm. People who couldn't afford the $2,000 for a scalper ticket started lining up four hours before the opening puck drop on nearby Market Street for a watch party.

"Listen, if you told me four months ago we would be in the finals in game seven, I think I would take it," said Blues coach Craig Berube. "We have been a good road team. We have won twice up there in this series so we are a confident group."

The excitement seemed to get the best of the team and the city earlier on Sunday, when the Blues mistakenly revealed some info on their victory parade plans in a letter that club owner Tom Stillman sent to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Stillman wrote the letter as part of a package of congratulatory advertisements and notices which were mistakenly posted on the newspaper website Sunday before being taken down. In the letter Stillman said the victory parade would take place on Market Street.

Rask was Boston's best player Sunday making several clutch saves, but none bigger than one he combined on with defenceman Charlie McAvoy in the second period.

With Boston holding a slim 1-0 lead, defenceman McAvoy prevented a a goal by batting a fluttering puck out of mid air into the back of Rask, who reached behind to try to trap it in his jersey. Rask then glided to the far right side of his crease so it didn't drop down into the goal.

Brandon Carlo, Karson Kuhlman and Zdeno Chara also scored for the Bruins.

Ryan O'Reilly, who is one of the frontrunners for the Stanley Cup MVP award if St. Louis win, scored the lone goal and rookie netminder Jordan Binnington made 27 saves.

"We're confident," said O'Reilly. "We are a great road team. Maybe that's our story, we have to get it done on the road."

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