- The Boston Bruins entered Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals trailing 3-2 in the series and facing elimination.
- Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy made an incredible save with the help of goalie Tuukka Rask to prevent the St. Louis Blues from tying things up in the 2nd period.
- The Bruins defeated the Blues 5-1 to force a Game 7.
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The 5-1 score of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals on Sunday may seem like it was a lopsided outcome in a do or die game for the Boston Bruins, but it was far from it.
With their backs against the wall, the result could have been much different for the Bruins if not for an incredible play by defenseman Charlie McAvoy and goalie Tuukka Rask.
Trailing 1-0 in the 2nd period, the St. Louis Blues had an opportunity to tie things up.
Goalie Tuukka Rask made a save off a shot from Vince Dunn that rebounded out onto the ice and was picked up by Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo. Pietrangelo fired the puck at the net again. This time it hit the post before ricocheting off Rask’s back and flying back towards the goal line.
The puck stayed up long enough for 21-year-old Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy to swat it out of the air and onto Rask’s back. Rask kept the puck there until it fell to the side of the net and back into play.
In the heat of the moment, fans and commentators alike didn’t know if the puck went in or how Rask managed to make an incredible behind-the-back save, but when the footage was slowed down in replay, it was clear that it was McAvoy who made the astonishing play with Rask’s unknowing help.
“It happened so fast,” McAvoy said. “I saw it go off the post and off [Rask’s] back and kind of just … it was a split-second reflex. I didn’t know if it was going in or going wide. I just swatted at it. Just reflexes.”
Rask, having his back to the net, needed to react based on what he could hear.
“I saw the replay after (when) I was doing an interview,”Rask said postgame. “So it hit the post, and then it kind of was bouncing there. I think [McAvoy] hit it with his stick, and I kind of heard it. I didn’t know where it was, and I figured it might be somewhere behind me, so I just tried to corral it with my hand behind my back, and then it stuck in my pants and then it fell somewhere. But I think [McAvoy] made a great play to keep it out of the net originally. It’s never a good thing to be facing the play with your back, but luckily it stayed out.”
The two teams will make their way back to Boston for Game 7 on Wednesday at TD Garden.
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