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Bruins come up short in Stanley Cup Final game 7

  • Boston Bruins' Charlie McAvoy reacts as the St. Louis Blues' celebrate Brayden Schenn's goal, right, during the third period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

  • St. Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo carries the Stanley Cup after the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • St. Louis Blues' Jaden Schwartz, left, and Brayden Schenn, right, mob goaltender Jordan Binnington, to celebrate their win over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • St. Louis Blues' Zach Sanford (12) celebrates his goal with teammates behind Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40), of Finland, during the third period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara, left, of Slovakia, congratulates St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington for the Blues' win over the Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Boston Bruins' Charlie McAvoy, left, crashes to the ice in front of St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington during the third period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • The St. Louis Blues celebrate their win over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, right, stretches to make a save against Boston Bruins' Joakim Nordstrom (20), of Sweden, during the third period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Boston Bruins' Charlie McAvoy reacts as the St. Louis Blues' celebrate Brayden Schenn's goal, right, during the third period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

  • Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara, left, of Slovakia, reaches behind goaltender Tuukka Rask, of Finland, to keep the puck from crossing the goal line during the second period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (Bruce Bennett/Pool via AP)

  • St. Louis Blues' Brayden Schenn (10) celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins with Vladimir Tarasenko (91), of Russia, during the third period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington catches the puck during the third period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube, right, watches as Ryan O'Reilly (90) speaks to teammates on the bench during the second period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • The puck bounces off the post behind Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, left, of Finland, and Zdeno Chara, right, of Slovakia, during the second period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • A shot by St. Louis Blues' Ryan O'Reilly settles in the net behind Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, of Finland, for the first goal during the first period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

  • St. Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo, second from right, celebrates his goal with teammates Jay Bouwmeester, left rear, Alexander Steen, left, and Jaden Schwartz, right, during the first period in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)



AP Sports Writer
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

BOSTON — Ryan O’Reilly scored for the fourth straight game and rookie Jordan Binnington stopped 32 shots in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins and their first NHL championship.

Alex Pietrangelo added a goal and an assist, and Brayden Schenn and Zach Sanford also scored for St. Louis. The Blues woke up on New Year’s morning with the worst record in the league but won 30 of their final 49 regular-season games and soared through the playoffs to reach the final for the first time since 1970.

Coach Craig Berube, who took over when Mike Yeo was fired in November, is the fourth coach in the past 11 years hired in midseason to lead his team to the NHL title.

Matt Grzelcyk scored the Bruins’ only goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 16 shots for Boston.

Boston outshot St. Louis, 33-20, but the Blues went ahead at the end of the first period on goals from O’Reilly and Pietrangelo about three minutes apart. The second period was scoreless, then Schenn put it out of reach with 8:35 to play and Sanford made it 4-0 before the Bruins spoiled Binnington’s bid for a shutout.

St. Louis can stop singing the blues. It’s time to play Gloria.

Returning to the site of their last appearance in the final, which ended when Bobby Orr sailed through the air after scoring the Cup winner, the Blues won for the third time in Boston this series and an NHL record-tying 10th time in the postseason.

O’Reilly won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the postseason. He is the first player since Wayne Gretzky to score in four consecutive Stanley Cup Final games.

Not so surprising with Gretzky, who is the NHL’s leading regular-season and playoff scorer, but O’Reilly had just three goals in his first 22 postseason games.

Boston will have to console itself with the two major sports championships it has already won in the past year, or the dozen trophies that have been chauffeured through Boston in a parade of the city’s iconic, amphibious Duck Boats. Three of them have come at St. Louis’ expense.

The Bruins tried to harness all the local karma they could.

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman and Julian Edelman waved a banner before the game while wearing David Ortiz jerseys; the Red Sox slugger is recuperating just a mile or so away from an assassination attempt in his native Dominican Republic.

Retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling also was in the crowd, wearing his World Series ring and a Bruins jersey. Portable party Rob Gronkowski also made an appearance on the video board.

And the Bruins responded, dominating for long stretches of time except in the way that mattered most.

The Blues had just one shot on goal heading into the final minutes of the first period, but they scored first when O’Reilly deflected a shot from Jay Bouwmeester into the net. Then with just 8 seconds left in the period and Bruins forward Brad Marchand tentative on a line change, Pietrangelo beat Rask to make it 2-0.

Bouwmeester played in 1,184 regular-season games — the third-most among active players who had not gotten their names etched on the Stanley Cup.