NHL Stanley Cup Final 2019: Blues vs. Bruins Odds, Predictions for Game 7

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 10, 2019

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, of Finland, gloves a shot against the St. Louis Blues during the second period of Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final Sunday, June 9, 2019, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)
Scott Kane/Associated Press

The Boston Bruins sit in a familiar position ahead of Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. 

The 2019 iteration of the franchise followed the first step of the comeback path to earn the title used by the 2011 Bruins. Both teams won a Game 6 to force a Game 7. 

Eight years ago, the Bruins went into Vancouver and claimed the Stanley Cup in the last Game 7 to be played in the championship series. 

This time around, Boston hosts Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in its franchise history. 

St. Louis appears to be in a difficult position in its quest for a first championship, but it has two previous victories in the series at TD Garden from Games 2 and 5. 

                     

Game 7 Odds

                 

Predictions

Rask Has Another Massive Performance

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask picked a good time to hold St. Louis to fewer than two goals for the first time in the series. 

In Game 6, Rask turned away 28 of the 29 shots sent in his direction by the Blues, with the only goal coming in the third period when Boston already established a three-goal advantage. 

As Sportsnet's Frank Seravalli pointed out, Rask has been remarkable in between the pipes in elimination games this postseason: 

Rask is 3-2 in his career in Game 7s and he has won the last two that he has participated in, both of which were against the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

In the final game of the first-round series with the Maple Leafs in 2019, Rask allowed one goal to slip by him while he made 32 saves. 

That performance was a welcome sight for the Finnish goalie, as he conceded three or more goals in the other Game 7s he played in. 

Throughout the Stanley Cup Final, Rask has given up 13 goals on 173 shots on goal. If he can turn away the Blues for most of the first period Wednesday, he will allow his attacking teammates to put pressure on Jordan Binnington and potentially take the lead. 

In Boston's three wins in the series, Rask has let up a single goal in the first period. If that trend continues, the Bruins will be able to jump on the Blues early and open up a lead that throws all the pressure on the visitors. 

If Rask keeps up his overall form in elimination games as well, Boston will produce the same result as the last Game 7 in the championship series. 

                         

O'Reilly Finds a Way to Keep Blues in Game

Ryan O'Reilly has been the driving force of the St. Louis offense for the last three games. He has beaten Rask on four occasions

If St. Louis challenges Boston from the first minute Wednesday, it will be because of the impact O'Reilly has on the ice. 

In Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, O'Reilly contributed three assists to help the Blues secure their spot in the championship series.

Since the final game against San Jose, O'Reilly has recorded a point in all but one game, which was Game 1 at TD Garden. 

St. Louis is 4-2 in the postseason when O'Reilly scores, including Games 4 and 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, the latter of which transpired at TD Garden. 

If O'Reilly is able to beat Rask in the first two periods, he will provide the Blues with an emotional boost that might be able to help them win Game 7. 

However, if O'Reilly is unable to crack the scoring column for the first time since Game 3, St. Louis could face a much tougher time defeating the Bruins. 

                    

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Hockey Reference.

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