The Boston Bruins are in an ideal position to extend their lead in the Stanley Cup Final Monday night.
Boston enters Game 4 off a 7-2 thumping of the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center, but the Western Conference side is not expected to go down without a fight.
Although the Blues have been inconsistent at home throughout the postseason, they are in familiar situation going into Game 4.
In order to reach the Stanley Cup Final, the Blues rallied from down 2-1 to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Final.
St. Louis has to show the same resilience it did in the previous round in order to level the series before it goes back to Boston.
St. Louis (-113; Bet $113 to win $100)
Boston (+100; Bet $100 to win $100)
The first three games of the Stanley Cup Final averaged 6.6 goals per game, but that number is skewed by the nine tallies recorded in Game 3.
If you think the high-scoring trend from Saturday will carry into Monday's Game 4, the odds are in your favor.
Over 5.5, 6.5, 7.5 and 8.5 goals all carry solid value, per OddsChecker, with over 8.5 sitting at the longest odds of +1,000.
In the conference final round, the Blues played in five games with five goals or more, with the lone exception being a 2-1 win in Game 4 over San Jose.
Boston and Carolina combined for over six goals in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final before the Bruins locked down on the defensive side of the ice in Games 3 and 4 to clinch the series.
In fact, the four road wins recorded by Boston before its Game 3 triumph Saturday were low-scoring affairs with its defense controlling the game.
Boston's defense produced a similar performance Saturday, but it received additional support from the attack with seven goals.
St. Louis has averaged 2.8 goals per game in its five playoff victories at Enterprise Center, so if you are backing the Blues to win, the under might be the way to go.
Under 4.5 (+190) is probably the best bet to go with in order to give you some breathing room if the two teams trade goals at some juncture of Game 4.
St. Louis 3, Boston 1
The Blues have not defended home ice to the best of their abilities in the postseason.
They are 8-3 on the road compared to their 5-6 home mark, but in order to remain competitive in the series, they need to bring the record at Enterprise Center back to .500.
In their five home playoff wins, the Blues have held opponents to two goals or fewer, which is what they will have to do again Monday in order to halt Boston's momentum.
Goalie Jordan Binnington, who was pulled from net in Game 3, has displayed an ability to bounce back from tough games throughout the postseason.
In the three games after he conceded five or more goals, Binnington allowed five total goals, with his latest recovery coming in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.
In Game 3 against San Jose, the Blues gave up five goals and fell in overtime, but they were able to rally and respond with a 2-1 victory in Game 4.
Something similar has to happen Monday in order to send the series back to Boston on level terms.
However, stopping the Boston offense will not be easy, as it has received contributions from all parts of the lineup.
Eleven players on the Boston roster have recorded a goal and 13 skaters have picked up an assist in the first three games.
The obvious focus for the Blues defense is to stop the line of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron.
In St. Louis' Game 2 overtime victory, it held Boston's top line to seven shots and one assist, which was recorded by Pastrnak on Charlie Coyle's power-play goal.
If the Blues can produce a similar defensive performance in Game 4, it could put a stop to Boston's offensive form.
But in order to come out on top Monday, the Blues need an all-around defensive performance in which it holds Boston to 20-25 shots on goal and Binnington has to come up with a few key saves.
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Statistics obtained from Hockey Reference.