The Boston Bruins had gone 11 days without playing a hockey game after sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals. They looked rusty in the beginning of the opener of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday night, as the St. Louis Blues opened up a 2-0 lead in the first minute of the second period. Brayden Schenn had opened the scoring in the first as the Boston defense just would not chase down a rebound, and then David Pastrnak turned the puck over behind his own net, and the Blues opened the second with another goal. After that, though, Boston woke up, outshooting St. Louis 18-3 in the second period and finishing with a 38-20 advantage with shots on goal. Jordan Binnington made 34 saves for St. Louis, but now the Blues have lost all five of the Stanley Cup Finals games they have played — and all to Boston. Can St. Louis get the road split in Game 2? Or will Boston ride the momentum of a comeback win — they ended up doubling up the Blues, 4-2 — and go to St. Louis up 2-0? We have your NHL betting preview right here.
Blues vs Bruins 2019 Stanley Cup Finals Odds & Game 2 Preview
When: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 8:00pm ET
Where: TD Garden, Boston
TV: NBC Sports
Radio: ESPN 101.1 FM St. Louis / 98.5 FM The Sports Hub Boston
Live Stream: ESPN+
2019 Stanley Cup Finals Game 2 Odds: St. Louis +149 / Boston -165 / O/U 5.5
Why should you bet on St. Louis?
Vladimir Tarasenko now has 66 shots on goal in these playoffs, and it was his goal that gave St. Louis the 2-0 advantage early. Jaden Schwartz was quiet in the opener but still leads the team with a dozen postseason goals. The Blues did see their goals allowed average climb to 2.6 per contest, but they have still permitted three or fewer goals in 12 of their last 17 contests. The Blues start with a hard-nosed, defensive approach, and then they push forward to take advantage of mistakes. The Bruins played into their hands on Monday — until the opening minute of the second period.
In their last 12 games as an underdog, St. Louis has gone 9-3, and in their last 11 games as a road underdog, they have gone 8-3. It’s a little worrisome, for Blues fans, that Boston has not lost since Game 3 in the Eastern Conference semis against Columbus, but the Blues have to get back to that grinding approach that has had them one of the hottest teams in the league since the calendar turned to 2019. If you like the Blues, you see them playing a complete game on Wednesday and keeping the Bruins on their heels.
Why should you put your money on Boston?
Boston is averaging almost half a goal per game more than the Blues are (3.3 to 2.9) in the postseason, and they have an eight-game winning streak going here. Their power play conversion rate dipped from 34 to 32.7 percent after the opener, but this is a dangerous team with the advantage nonetheless. In Monday’s game, two of their goals came from defensemen, and their fourth line came through huge again. On defense, they permit 1.9 goals per game, as Tuukka Rask continues to stand tall. The two goals that he permitted on Monday were all on the defense, and that stopped in the second period.
Boston has won their last five postseason games as a favorite, and the favorite has won the last five meetings between Boston and St. Louis. As a home favorite, Boston has won 19 of 24, and they are winning their games by an average of 2.6 goals per game during this winning streak. If you like Boston, you’re just sticking with the hot hand at this point.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
St. Louis has done a masterful job of making the right adjustments at the right times this postseason. However, I don’t think they’ll make it between the first two games in Boston. I predict a final score of Boston 3, St. Louis 1.