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The St. Louis Blues are NHL champions for the first time in their 51-season history courtesy of a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden.
Jordan Binnington made 32 saves for the Blues, who earned the three-goal win despite the Bruins outshooting them 33-20. Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist, giving himself 23 postseason points en route to winning the Conn Smythe trophy:
His 23 points are the most ever in one @StLouisBlues postseason.
Ryan O’Reilly is your Conn Smythe Trophy winner! #StanleyCup https://t.co/2YfFJTa8FA
O’Reilly and Alex Pietrangelo scored first-period goals to give St. Louis an early 2-0 lead. After a scoreless second, Brayden Schenn and Zach Sanford added insurance tallies in the third.
Matt Grzelcyk scored an empty-net goal for the Bruins with 2:10 remaining, spoiling Binnington’s shutout chance after 32 consecutive saves.
Pietrangelo, who was on the ice for all four goals, added an assist. Jaden Schwartz led the Blues with two of his own.
St. Louis, which earned a Stanley Cup berth in each of its first three years of existence, hadn’t made the championship round since the 1969-70 season, when Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr and the Bruins swept St. Louis in four games.
The circumstances were much different this season, as no team held more than a one-game lead during the Stanley Cup Final.
In the end, the Blues won their third Stanley Cup road game in four tries, cementing the team’s first title.
The Blues’ first Cup is all the more impressive considering the team was 15-18-4 on Jan. 2, which gave St. Louis the league’s lowest point total at that juncture.
However, St. Louis finished the season 30-10-5 thanks largely to new goaltender Binnington, whose 1.89 GAA was a league-best mark. The midseason call-up went 24-5-1 in 30 regular-season starts and started every postseason contest.
The Blues rode that heat wave into the playoffs, where they outlasted the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks before taking down the Bruins, who tied for the NHL’s second-best regular-season point total.
Along the way, St. Louis won 10 of 13 road games during a postseason where it had home-ice advantage just once.
The Blues will celebrate at home, however, as they gave their city its first NHL champion.
This article will be updated to provide more information soon.
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