The Latest: Boston defensemen lead charge in Game 1

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BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on the Stanley Cup Final (all times local):

11 p.m.

Forty-nine years after Boston's Bobby Orr flew through the air following his Stanley Cup-clinching goal against St. Louis, Bruins defensemen Connor Clifton and Charlie McAvoy played a huge role in a Game 1 win over the Blues.

Both scored in the second period to tie the game at 2-2 and the Bruins went on to take the opener 4-2.

Sean Kuraly scored the game-winner in the third period and Brad Marchand added an empty netter to clinch it.

Game 2 is Wednesday night.


10:40 p.m.

The Stanley Cup Final opener is getting testy.

The Blues' David Perron and Boston's Torey Krug got tangled up in the Bruins' end, and the lengthy tussle caused Krug to lose his helmet. He skated down the ice helmetless and laid out St. Louis forward Robert Thomas with a crushing open-ice hit to the delight of the crowd.

After the whistle, fans chanted "We want the Cup!"

Boston took a 3-2 lead into the final 10 minutes of the game after trailing 2-0.


10:25 p.m.

Boston has taken a 3-2 lead on St. Louis in the third period of the Stanley Cup Final opener.

The Bruins' top line has been held without a goal, but the fourth line has led a comeback from a 2-0 deficit.

Sean Kuraly scored 5:21 into the third period to put Boston up, collecting the puck on his skate and setting up a quick shot past Blues goalie Jordan Binnington. Kuraly had the primary assist on third-pairing defenseman Connor Clifton's second-period goal.


10 p.m.

The Bruins have roared back and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against St. Louis is tied 2-2 going into the third period in Boston.

Defenseman Charlie McAvoy scored a power-play goal 12:41 into the second period to tie things up. Oskar Sundqvist was in the box for St. Louis with the team's fourth penalty of the game.

The Bruins were a bit sluggish after a 10-day layoff and fell behind 2-0 to the Blues. But they outshot St. Louis 18-2 in the second period and put goaltender Jordan Binnington under serious pressure.


9:45 p.m.

The St. Louis Blues finally paid for their parade to the penalty box.

Defenseman Charlie McAvoy scored a power-play goal for the Boston Bruins 12:41 into the second period to tie the score at 2. Oskar Sundqvist was in the box for St. Louis with the team's fourth penalty of the game.

Boston's power play ranks first in the playoffs, and Blues players stressed the need to be disciplined in the days leading up to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

In the audience was New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who received a loud ovation.

It was the latest public appearance by Kraft, who is currently embroiled in a Florida case in which he is facing a misdemeanor charge for allegedly soliciting a prostitute at a massage parlor.

Despite the charge, Kraft has remained visible at Boston sports events. It included him being regular during the Boston Celtics' playoff run.


9:25 p.m.

Two quick goals in the second period of the Stanley Cup Final opener in Boston between the Bruins and the St. Louis Blues.

Just 76 seconds after Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Blues a two-goal lead, rookie defenseman Connor Clifton scored to cut the Boston deficit to 2-1.

A bad turnover by Boston's David Pastrnak set up Tarasenko to beat Tuukka Rask for his ninth playoff goal. It was the second goal already in the game for the Blues' red-hot first line of Jaden Schwartz, Braden Schenn and Tarasenko.

Clifton then streaked toward the net and scored his second of the playoffs off a feed from Sean Kuraly.


9 p.m.

The St. Louis Blues take a 1-0 lead into the second period of the Stanley Cup Final opener in Boston.

Brayden Schenn's goal 7:23 into the game was the Blues' first score in a Cup final since 1970.

The Blues scored first for the 14th time in 20 playoff games and are 10-3 so far when doing so. They're also 6-1 when leading after the first period.

Discipline continues to be an issue for St. Louis, which took two penalties and put Boston's playoff-best power play to work. With goaltender Jordan Binnington not looking at all nervous, the Blues killed off each penalty and had one of the shots ring off the post.


8:35 p.m.

The St. Louis Blues have scored first in the Stanley Cup Final.

Brayden Schenn fired a wrist shot past Boston goaltender Tuuka Rask 7:23 into Game 1 for his third goal of the playoffs and the team's first in a Cup final since 1970.

Task made an initial save and a second shot went wide, but Schenn wound up with the puck and plenty of room in front to stake in for a blast over Rask's blocker.

The chess match between Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy and Blues coach Craig Berube started immediately.

After Berube chose to start Game 1 with his fourth line of Alex Steen, Oskar Sundqvist and Ivan Barbashev, Cassidy responded in kind — starting his fourth line of Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari.

Cassidy has already said Boston's top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak will go up against St. Louis' top line of Jaden Schwartz, Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko.


8:25 p.m.

The Stanley Cup Final is underway between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins leaned on two past championship teams in the lead-up to Game 1 on home ice. Bobby Orr scoring his famous 1970 Stanley Cup-winning overtime goal against the Blues was the final clip show on the video screens before members of the 2011 title-winning team fired up the crowd at TD Garden.

The Blues haven't been back to the final since that 1970 series. They have reached the final three previous times and been swept each time.


7:05 p.m.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says the league will not hold exhibition games in China prior to next season. Daly cited the inability for the league to book what's necessary for those games because of the country celebrating the 70th anniversary of the rise of communism there.

The NHL staged two preseason games in China in each of the past two years. The Boston Bruins, who open the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues, went to China before this season.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league has not changed its stance on Olympic participation. The NHL sent players to five Olympics from 1998-2014 but did not for Pyeongchang in 2018, and the issue is expected to be discussed as part of collective bargaining talks.

Beijing is set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.


6:45 p.m.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will consider expanded video review after a couple of high-profile missed calls during the playoffs.

During his annual state of the NHL speech prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Bettman says general managers will discuss potential expansion of video review at their meeting in June. Bettman says the league is "very" concerned about slowing down games with extra reviews.

With Vegas leading 3-0 in Game 7 in the first round, Cody Eakin was assessed a major penalty for a hit on San Jose's Joe Pavelski that the league told the Golden Knights was not the right call. The Sharks scored four times on the ensuing major penalty and won 5-4 in overtime.

San Jose also won Game 3 of the Western Conference final after on-ice officials missed a hand pass immediately before the overtime winner. That is not subject to review.

Currently, only goals can be reviewed — either by the situation room in Toronto or by coach's challenge for offside or goaltender interference. Bettman did say the NHL likely won't reduce what can be reviewed.


1:05 p.m.

Vince Dunn is making progress to return to the St. Louis Blues' lineup after taking a puck to the face in Game 3 of the Western Conference final.

Dunn practiced Monday for the third consecutive day and shed the full face shield he skated with over the weekend in favor of a regular visor. Coach Craig Berube says Dunn won't play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston but is getting closer to being ready for game action.

The 22-year-old defenseman missed the last three games of the West final after taking a puck off his left cheek. Asked if Dunn was talking better, captain Alex Pietrangelo joked, "Yeah, his teeth are coming in."

Dunn has seven points in 16 playoff games.


12:40 p.m.

Brad Marchand is expected to play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final despite leaving the Boston Bruins' morning skate early.

Coach Bruce Cassidy says Marchand is good to go for the series opener against the St. Louis Blues, and Boston's leading scorer in the playoffs did not have anything visible on his left hand when speaking with reporters. Marchand jammed the hand during a scrimmage Thursday night and skipped practice Sunday for maintenance.

Cassidy expects to match up the first line of Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak against the Blues' top trio of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko. They've been on fire in the eight games since coach Craig Berube reunited them.

Berube said banged-up forward Robert Thomas is good to play Monday night. Vince Dunn will miss his fourth consecutive game with an upper-body injury, though Berube said the 22-year-old defensemen is getting closer to returning.


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