Jun 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Boston Bruins in game five of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – The St. Louis Blues moved one win away from their first Stanley Cup triumph after a controversial 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday gave them a 3-2 lead in the National Hockey League’s best-of-seven championship.
David Perron scored what turned out to be the game winner with just under 10 minutes to play, prompting angry Bruins fans to litter the ice with debris in protest at a missed penalty call.
Blues forward Tyler Bozak tripped Bruins forward Noel Acciari, who fell backwards and slammed his head on the ice, but the referees took no action.
As play continued, Perron’s centering pass hit defenseman Torey Krug’s stick and slid right back to him, opening up a gap that allowed him to score as Boston goalie Tuukka Rask had moved over in anticipation of the pass finding its target.
The Bruins, who had a bevy of chances all night, finally broke through when Jake DeBrusk fired a hard one-timer from a bad angle that beat Blues goalie Jordan Binnington with about six-and-a-half minutes to play.
That set up a tense finish but the Blues, who were dead last in the NHL in early January, held on and will get their first chance to hoist ice hockey’s most coveted prize when they host Game Six on Sunday.
Blues forward Ryan O’Reilly had opened the scoring 55 seconds into the second period when he flipped a backhand into the top right corner after receiving a nifty between-the-legs pass from behind the Boston net by Zach Sanford.
The Blues nearly added another with six seconds left in the period but were denied when Bruins forward David Krejci, with Rask out of position, slid across the goal line to stop an Alex Pietrangelo shot from in close with his arm.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Nick Mulvenney