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  • Disciplined Bruins look to counter resilient Blues in Game 4

    Tim Rosenthal June 3, 2019
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    ST. LOUIS — Both the Bruins and the Blues bounced back from a loss during the Stanley Cup Final.

    This plays to one of the successful trends of their playoff run. Both teams showcased their resiliency bouncing back from setbacks in their first three series.

    The Bruins only lost two playoff games in a row once — Games 2 and 3 against the Blue Jackets — and the Blues bounced back both times after losing twice in a row against the Jets and Stars during the first two rounds. The former responded to each Maple Leafs victory with a counter win in Round 1, while the latter tied their Western Conference Final matchup with the Sharks twice before advancing to their first Cup Final in 49 years.

    The last thing the Blues want to do, though, is go down three games to one when the series shifts to Boston. They haven’t faced a team as deep as the Bruins, who clinched their previous three series on their first attempt to do so — Game 7 at home against Toronto, Game 6 at Columbus and Game 4 in Carolina.

    Former Blues captain David Backes saw St. Louis’ resiliency first hand. His current team will see that first hand Monday night after running the Blues out of the building with their 7-2 victory in Game 3.

    “This team is not laying down. They’re resilient and they’re going to push back,” Backes said following the Bruins’ optional skate Sunday at Enterprise Center. “When their backs are against the wall, they seem to play their best. They’ve shown that time and time again, and that’s our outlet moving forward for Game 4. They’re down 2-1 in the series, they’re at home and they’re going to come out with the best game of the series. And we have to match that [desperation] as well.”

    We’ll likely see a different Blues team in Game 4. Their lack of discipline got the worst of them in Game 3, leading to a historic Bruins power play that went a perfect 4-for-4 on four shots.

    The Bruins didn’t need to retaliate physically to every antic from Boston’s newest villain David Perron and company. They let their play do the talking instead.

    All this prompted Craig Berube’s response to the officiating through the first three games. The Jack Adams Award candidate saw his team go from the least penalized team in the league this postseason to giving up at least four power play attempts in each of the first three games.

    “I don’t agree with all the calls. We were the least penalized team in the league in the first three rounds,” Berube said after watching his team take 17 penalties through the first three games. “Now, all of a sudden, we’ve taken [17] penalties in one series.”

    The Blues were rattled in Game 3. But they’ve been here before and popped back up with timely responses following a loss.

    The Bruins won each of their previous Game 4’s — all coming on the road. The Blues will still try to get under their skin in an attempt to make the Cup Final a de-facto best of three series.

    A handful of members of Bruce Cassidy’s battle-tested squad remain from the 2011 Stanley Cup team and subsequent run to the Final two years later. The Blues, while being in a familiar spot, are still in new territory with each member — sans Vince Dunn, who returns to the lineup after missing the last six games with a facial injury — playing in their fourth Cup Final contest.

    The Bruins’ discipline through the first three games can only be a good thing as they face another desperate hockey club Monday night.

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