The ice has been broken on scoring in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, as St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn put his team up 1-0 in Game 1 of the series against the Boston Bruins.
The goal came 7:23 into the first period and Schenn was assisted by left wing Jaden Schwartz and defenseman Jay Bouweester. It was Schenn’s third goal of the postseason.
Schenn converted on St. Louis’ sixth shot on goal of the period and about two minutes after the first power play of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Boston Bruins forward Sean Kuraly got called for tripping Schenn, appropriately enough, 3:37 into the first period. The Bruins were able to keep the Blues off the board while shorthanded, only to see Schenn make good on this attempt later.
Tuuka Rask was in goal for Boston, who had made five saves to that point in the game. Rask came into the game with a 12-5 record so far in the 2019 postseason and a save percentage of .942. Rask has pitched two shutouts so far in the postseason and while he won’t get a third in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, his playoff résumé suggests he might have one coming yet. Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final is his 83rd postseason start and he has seven playoff shutouts in his career. His career postseason save percentage is .928 and in those 82 games, he has posted 47 wins with a total of 187 goals allowed, for a goals allowed average of 2.17.
Schenn isn’t quite as experienced when it comes to playoff hockey. Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final is just his 44th career postseason game. His goal on Monday night is just his sixth career playoff goal on only 69 shots. Schenn has 16 career playoff assists, giving him 21 postseason points coming into the game on Monday night. Before Monday night’s game, he was a career -8 in postseason contests. Schenn’s lack of experience has proven irrelevant but the experience of him being the first to score could be very important for his team.
Schenn’s goal is a great omen for St. Louis. The past 17 consecutive Stanley Cup Final games have ultimately been won by the team which netted the first goal and teams that win the first game of the Stanley Cup Final have won the series 78 percent of the time. If those statistics prove true, it would be the first-ever Stanley Cup Final victory for the franchise. The Blues have appeared in the Stanley Cup Final three times prior but have failed to win a single game in any of those series. In 1968 St. Louis fell to Montreal 4-0, then again to the Canadiens in 1969 in four games and for a third consecutive year, the Blues lost the Final in a sweep to this same Boston Bruins franchise.
Schenn has his team off to a great start in its bid to win its first-ever Stanley Cup Final game with his wrist shot in the first period. If the current scores holds or St. Louis ultimately prevails by a different score, Schenn may have begun a new chapter of Blues history.