ST. LOUIS – Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins' best players took the criticism to heart.
They weren't good enough through the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final and needed to be better. And they were.
The stars came out Saturday night and led Boston to a 7-2 rout of the St. Louis Blues to take a 2-1 series lead. Bergeron and defenseman Torey Krug each scored a goal and had two assists, David Pastrnak scored his first goal of the series and the top power-play unit was a perfect 3 for 3.
Boston chased Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, silenced actor and Blues super fan Jon Hamm and a raucous crowd that was fired up for the first Cup Final game in St. Louis in 49 years. The Bruins survived an initial onslaught and then took it to the home team.
Nothing was more important for the Bruins than the first line of Brad Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak getting going after no even-strength points through the first two games. They combined for five points a decidedly better effort at 5-on-5 and on the power play.
“We spent less time in our zone,” Bergeron said moments after the win. “When we do that we have more energy on offense.”
Game 4 is Monday night.
Tuukka Rask had 27 saves, and the Bruins got contributions all over their lineup. Charlie Coyle got his eighth goal of the playoffs, fourth-liner Sean Kuraly scored his second in three games and Marcus Johansson added goal No. 7.
STANLEY CUP FINAL
Boston vs. St. Louis
Bruins lead 2-1
Game 1: Boston wins 4-2
Game 2: St. Louis wins 3-2 (OT)
Game 3: Boston wins 7-2
Game 4: Monday, at at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Game 5: Thursday, at Boston, 8 p.m
Game 6: Sunday, at St. Louis, 8 p.m.*
Game 7: June 12, at Boston, 8 p.m.*