ST. LOUIS — The Boston Bruins on Sunday night forced a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final against St. Louis.
Boston got goals from stars Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara on the way to a 5-1 blowout of the Blues in Game 6.
The Blues got a third-period goal from Ryan O’Reilly that needed video review but otherwise could get nothing past Boston goalie Tuukka Rask.
The deciding game of the best-of-seven series will be Wednesday night in Boston.
Karson Kuhlman, who played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints before leading Minnesota-Duluth to an NCAA championship as a senior last spring, gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead with 10:15 gone in the third period. Kuhlman scored on a wrist shot from the slot into the upper left-hand corner of the net.
But Ryan O’Reilly answered at 12:01 with a goal that was awarded after video review. His shot was toed aside by Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, but only after it had crossed the goal line.
Coach Bruce Cassidy believed having the rookie Kuhlman in the lineup over veteran David Backes gave his team a better chance of avoiding elimination.
Cassidy said Kuhlman’s more offensive-minded style is a better fit on center David Krejci’s wing because he wants to keep Boston’s effective fourth line of Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari together. It was the first game action for Kuhlman since skating under 14 minutes in Game 3 of the second round against Columbus on April 30.
It was the second consecutive healthy scratch for Backes, who played 10 seasons with St. Louis and was a longtime captain there. Scratching Backes to go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen for precautionary reasons in Game 5 Thursday with Zdeno Chara playing through a broken jaw made more sense.
The 35-year-old Backes is only signed for two more seasons and is running out of opportunities to capture the Stanley Cup that has been elusive for him.