ST. LOUIS (AP) – The Latest on Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final (all times local):
Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues is underway.
Projected first overall pick Jack Hughes and a handful of other top NHL prospects visited the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins at their morning skates before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Hughes, potential first-round picks Bowen Byram, Dylan Cozens, Kirby Dach and Alex Turcotte got a chance to rub elbows with players vying for the Stanley Cup. The NHL always brings some prospects from the scouting combine to the final to give them a taste of the big stage they hope to reach.
For Hughes, it was an extension of his experience playing for the U.S. at the world hockey championships and sitting next to three-time Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane in the dressing room. Hughes says he bugged Kane plenty about what it’s like to play in the NHL.
“You want to learn things from guys around the league, kind of take things,” Hughes said. “Pretty cool to look at their gear. I like looking at sticks. Saw a few weird sticks and learned some things.”
When Blues players came off the ice, Hughes twirled Ryan O’Reilly’s stick in his hands and held it up to see what was different about it.
“O’Reilly’s was pretty cool – straight curve and then he had something weird going on with the toe,” Hughes said. “It was pretty cool to see that.”
Hughes and the other prospects walked into the arena with Blues players, who were coming off their bus from the hotel they stay in at home during the playoffs.
It made all the sense in the world when John Moore went to the interview room Saturday to talk before his Stanley Cup Final debut the morning of Game 3. He was in demand.
Moore is a third-pairing defenseman who played just over 13 minutes and had no points in the Boston Bruins’ 7-2 rout of the St. Louis Blues. Yet there he was back at the podium Monday morning along with first-line center Patrice Bergeron.
Superstitious much? The Bruins seem to be – even if it wasn’t Moore’s call.
“This is probably the last place I want to be, all due respect to you guys,” Moore said with a smile. “I go where I’m told this time of year.”
Because the Bruins won Game 3, Bergeron called it some good public relations and hopes it leads to another victory in Game 4 that would put the Bruins one win away from the Stanley Cup.
“I do not know if the superstition comes over from the team’s communication guys,” Bergeron said in French. “Yesterday, I did not speak. Today was my turn. I did not ask myself questions. But it’s true that (VP of communications Matt Chmura) finds it funny.”
Vince Dunn is expected to return to the St. Louis Blues’ lineup Monday for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins after missing almost three weeks with facial injuries and a likely concussion.
Dunn has missed six games since taking a puck to the face on a shot from San Jose’s Brenden Dillon in Game 3 of the Western Conference final on May 15. He still has wires in his mouth and says it feels like he’s wearing a mouth guard at all times.
The 22-year-old defenseman is a key part of the Blues’ breakouts to get the puck up the ice and generate offense. He has two goals and five assists in 16 playoff games.
Dunn replaces Robert Bortuzzo, and Oskar Sundqvist’s return following a one-game suspension knocks Robby Fabbri out of the Blues’ lineup. Coach Craig Berube is moving up Zach Sanford, who played 9:15 in Game 3 on Saturday in his first action since April 14, to the second line with Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron as part of a forward shake-up.
Boston is expected to go with the same lineup from its 7-2 Game 3 victory.
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