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Monday December 16th, 2019 7:30AM

The Latest: Bruins grab 2-0 lead vs Blues in must-win Game 6

By The Associated Press
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest from Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between Boston and St. Louis (all times local):

9:25 p.m.

A bad decision by the St. Louis Blues has left them trailing the Boston Bruins 2-0 early in the third period of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

An errant pass attempt back into their zone backfired. Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo fired a shot that changed direction on goaltender Jordan Binnington before going in with 17:29 left in the third. Brad Marchand scored in the first period on a power play.

The Blues lead Boston 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, but a Bruins win would force Game 7 on Wednesday night in Boston.

___

9 p.m.

The Boston Bruins have a 1-0 lead going into the third period of a game they must win to force Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final against St. Louis.

Tuukka Rask has stopped 19 shots and looked in command for the Bruins, who have killed off four St. Louis power plays.

Brad Marchand has the game's only goal, a blast from the right faceoff circle during a two-man advantage in the first period.

Boston is 12-3 in the playoffs when scoring first. The Blues lead Boston 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, but a Bruins win would force Game 7 on Wednesday night in Boston.

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7:45 p.m.

Longtime St. Louis Blues anthem singer Charles Glenn delivered his final rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner" prior to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The 64-year-old Glenn has multiple sclerosis and said previously he would be retiring after his 19th season.

After putting "a little" extra into this one, Glenn hugged his daughter Elizabeth, who clapped as the anthem reached its crescendo with his well-known "FREEEEEEEEEE!" and pumped her fist when her father finished his last note.

Said Glenn: "I feel no pain tonight. But ask me tomorrow."

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7:40 p.m.

Brad Marchand has given Boston a 1-0 lead on St. Louis in the first period of Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final.

The St. Louis Blues had the early jump, but the Bruins wound up with a two-man advantage because of a boarding penalty on Brayden Schenn and a delay of game penalty on Ryan O'Reilly. David Pastrnak fed Marchand for a blazing one-timer from the right faceoff circle that Jordan Binnington had little chance of stopping.

Boston is 12-3 in the playoffs when scoring first.

Blues winger Robert Thomas is back after missing the previous four games against Boston with a suspected hand or wrist injury. He handled the puck fine in practice Saturday and Sunday morning and declared himself good to go.

Thomas' return comes at an opportune time, with the Blues trying to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup title and fourth-line winger Ivan Barbashev out because of a one-game suspension.

The Bruins scratched former Blues captain David Backes once again, going with Karson Kuhlman. The 23-year-old rookie hadn't played since Game 3 of the second round against Columbus on April 30.

The Blues lead Boston 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

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6:50 p.m.

The St. Louis Blues are going for the franchise's first Stanley Cup title, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is ready.

Maybe a little too ready.

The newspaper accidentally shared some celebratory advertisements before the start of Game 6 via an electronic edition for subscribers. In a letter to fans, owner Tom Stillman wrote: "Winning the Stanley Cup was a dream come true for so many of you. All of us will remember where we were, what we did and how we felt when the Blues brought the Cup home."

Stillman also said the Blues were looking forward to parading the Cup down Market Street in St. Louis.

The Post-Dispatch apologized for the error in a tweet, and said it hopes "to share their messages with everyone very soon!"

A sea of blue greeted the Bruins and Blues when they hit the ice for pregame warmups at Enterprise Arena. Outside, tens of thousands of fans packed the streets for a public viewing party in a nearby park.

The Blues took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series into Sunday night's game against Boston.

___

3 p.m.

Coach Bruce Cassidy believes having rookie Karson Kuhlman in the lineup over veteran David Backes gives his Boston Bruins a better chance of avoiding elimination in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues.

Cassidy says Kuhlman's more offensive-minded style is a better fit on center David Krejci's wing because he wants to keep Boston's effective fourth line of Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari together. It'll be the first game action for Kuhlman since skating under 14 minutes in Game 3 of the second round against Columbus on April 30.

It's the second consecutive healthy scratch for Backes, who played 10 seasons with St. Louis and was a longtime captain there. Scratching Backes to go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen for precautionary reasons in Game 5 Thursday with Zdeno Chara playing through a broken jaw made more sense.

Despite his struggles, it could turn out to be an unpopular move in the locker room to sit him in this crucial game in the arena he called home for so long. The 35-year-old forward is only signed for two more seasons and is running out of opportunities to capture the Stanley Cup that has been elusive for him.

"We're here to win," Backes said. "If my part's grabbing the pom-poms again, I'll shake those things 'til all the frills fall out of them."

Of course, Kuhlman also could be a hero — or at least help get Krejci going. The Czech center who's one of five Bruins players left from their 2011 championship team doesn't have a point in this series.

___

2:30 p.m.

Robert Thomas is ready to return to the St. Louis Blues' lineup for a potential Stanley Cup-clinching Game 6 against the Boston Bruins.

Thomas has missed the past four games of the series with a suspected hand or wrist injury. He handled the puck fine in practice Saturday and Sunday morning and declared himself good to go.

The smooth-skating forward's return is a major boost for the Blues as they look to try to win the first Stanley Cup in the history of a franchise that has been around since 1967. And it comes at a perfect time to compensate for the one-game suspension of fourth-line winger Ivan Barbashev.

Boston is making its own roster change. Coach Bruce Cassidy is going back to the traditional 12 forwards and six defensemen after dressing 11 and seven for precautionary reasons in the Bruins' Game 5 loss because captain Zdeno Chara was playing with a broken jaw.

But it's not former Blues captain-turned-Bruins role player David Backes going back in for depth defenseman Steven Kampfer. Instead it's 23-year-old rookie Karson Kuhlman, who hasn't played since Game 3 of the second round against Columbus on April 30.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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