Boston simply looks unstoppable as they head into the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals game 2 free pick. Oddsmakers have set the Bruins at -171 favorites vs. the Blues as Boston looks for their 9th straight win of the postseason. St. Louis had chances on Monday, notching a 2-0 lead early in the 2nd period but Boston shook off 11 days or rest to score the next 4 goals. Early reports say St. Louis will indeed show up for the game on Wednesday, but can they pull out the victory to cash as +147 underdogs?
St. Louis Needs to Keep Launching Wednesday
The Blues went into a hole after they took the 2-0 lead in Game 1. St. Louis managed just 12 SOG the last two periods and just 2 in the 2nd. Sure the physical play of Boston and the home crowd will do that, but so will the nerves of a team’s first Stanley Cup appearance since 1970. The Blues should be a bit more relaxed after getting a game under their belt, but the Bruins will be better too. Boston had 10 days off between their Eastern Conference Finals win and Game 1 vs. St. Louis and they showed some rink rust. St. Louis can build momentum off the fact that Vladimir Tarasenko was able to net a goal on Monday for the 4th time in 5 games.
Jordan Binnington had to be feeling some butterflies in net in Game 1 for St. Louis. The rookie gave up 3 goals to the Bruins on Monday after allowing just 2 in the last 3 games vs. San Jose. Binnington did give up 5 goals in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals to San Jose, but bounced back to stop 24 of 26 shots in Game 2. Binnington has gone 5-2 with a 1.84 GAA after a loss in these playoffs so the youngster has shown a short memory.
Bruins Have Things to Work On as Well
It may sound weird that a team that has won 8 straight games has some work to do ahead of Game 2. Boston’s front line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand didn’t do much outside of a Marchand empty netter. After Tarasenko’s goal, Bruce Cassidy switched matchups to get his 4th line forwards on the Bruins top line. The strategy worked on Monday, but St. Louis has had time to adapt. Can the Blues keep their composure on Wednesday as well? The Bruins committed 5 penalties against the chippy Bruins pressure. Boston thus scored half their goals on a PP and an EN – take away those and it’s a pretty even Game 1.
Of course besides a top tier offense, the Bruins have a veteran in net in Tuukka Rask that gives them a huge edge. Rask has allowed 2 goals or less in six straight playoff games and the crease is more like a Sandals Resort as he faced just 20 shots on Monday. Can the Blues put more pressure on Rask in Game 2? Boston was 6th in the league in SOG against during the regular season.
2019 Stanley Cup Finals Game 2 Free Pick Betting
About 65% of the public bettors like Boston in this one at home despite the hefty -171 ML. Monday’s game went over the 5.5 thanks to the empty netter, but expect a much more crisp Boston defense than the one playing on 10 days of rest in Game 1. On top of that, Binnington has rebounded well after a loss during these playoffs and Rask has been solid in nearly every start. All that leads to a closer, yet lower scoring game on Wednesday.
NHL Free Pick: Blues / Bruins *Under 5.5*