After a long layoff from playoff hockey—one that was even longer for the Boston Bruins—the Stanley Cup Final will get underway on Monday night. So, get ready for the NHL postseason to start back up with an exciting best-of-seven series to decide a champion.
The Bruins will host the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden in Boston in the opening game of the series. The two teams split their two regular-season meetings and are playing in the postseason for the first time since 1970.
While getting off to a good start in the finals is important, it's not always necessary. Last year, the Washington Capitals dropped Game 1 to the Vegas Golden Knights before going on to win four straight to claim the Cup.
Here's everything you need to know to watch the opening game of this year's Stanley Cup Final.
Game 1 Information
Date: Monday, 27 May
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
David Krejci was back on the ice at Bruins practice on Sunday, according to NHL.com's Matt Kalman. However, Brad Marchand was off it.
Krejci had been dealing with an illness that prevented him from participating in Boston's intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday, which was designed to keep Bruins players fresh after going 10 days between playoff games.
Meanwhile, Marchand's absence was just a "maintenance day," according to Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy, per Kalman.
Both men are expected to play Game 1. However, the Bruins will be without right wing Chris Wagner, who is out with a right arm injury but could be back before the end of the series.
"It's been a little tough watching them get ready and not being on the ice. It's been really tough," Wagner said, per Kalman. "But you just want to stay supportive. We've gotten this far. It's not about me. It's about the team."
The Blues will also likely be without an injured player for the opening game of the series. Defenseman Vince Dunn, who missed the last three games of the Western Conference Finals after getting hit in the face by a puck in Game 3, is doubtful.
However, Dunn, who skated on Sunday, is expected to return for St. Louis at some point this series.
"He's close. I didn't talk to him or the trainers after practice yet, but he looked good in practice," Blues head coach Craig Berube said, according to NHL.com's Louie Korac. "That was the best he's looked, which is a good sign. I'll have to check in with the trainers. He's pretty close."
With both teams mostly at full strength—including both standout goalies, Boston's Tuukka Rask and St. Louis' Jordan Binnington—the Stanley Cup Final has the potential to be an exciting, competitive series to end the NHL season.
The Bruins are looking to win their seventh Cup and their first since 2011. The Blues are aiming to win the first Cup in franchise history in their first finals appearance since making it three straight years from 1968-70.