Pete Blackburn

CBS Sports Lead NHL Writer

Pete Blackburn has relentlessly covered and analyzed the NHL in a professional capacity for half a decade now. He has been CBS Sports? lead NHL writer for nearly two years and previously served as lead NHL writer for FOX Sports. His approach to breaking down the game is much like his approach to making picks -- the numbers and analytics sometimes only tell part of the story. A Boston native, he knows winners when he sees them. For Pete Blackburn media inquiries, contact Pete.Blackburn@CBSInteractive.com.

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Pete's
Picks

Boston -180 BOS -180

St. Louis 4 @ Boston 1
6/13
STL 4 @ BOS 1
6/13
LOSS
Wed 6/12

Anything can happen in a Game 7, but the Bruins come into the Stanley Cup Final with a little momentum after their top six finally broke through last time out in St. Louis. They also have home-ice advantage and came out of the gate strong at TD Garden in Game 5 (17 shots in the first period) so look for them to seize some early momentum early on. There have been two consistencies in a rather unpredictable Cup Final so far: Goaltending and special teams, and both point in favor of the Bruins. Play Boston to raise the Cup on home ice.

7-5 IN LAST 12 BOS ML PICKS | +78

5-3 IN LAST 8 STL ML PICKS | +74

Boston -151 BOS -151

St. Louis 2 @ Boston 1
6/07
STL 2 @ BOS 1
6/07
LOSS
Thu 6/6

The Bruins didn't look good in Game 4; the Blues have been the better team at 5-on-5 for a good portion of this series; and Boston's defensive unit is really banged up heading into Game 5. With that in mind, this series seems to be trending in favor of St. Louis. However, the Bruins have been a resilient team all year and have lost two games in a row just once this postseason. Things have been pretty unpredictable through the first four games, with the only consistencies being Boston edging the Blues in special teams and goaltending. Now the Bruins have home ice, and they should be looking to avenge a tough outing last time out. The top six are due for a breakout performance, and I'd look for them to get it at a pivotal point on Thursday.

7-5 IN LAST 12 BOS ML PICKS | +78

5-3 IN LAST 8 STL ML PICKS | +74

UNDER 5.5 UNDER 5.5

Boston 2 @ St. Louis 4
6/04
BOS 2 @ STL 4
6/04
LOSS
Mon 6/3

Things got out of hand a bit in Game 3 and the Bruins were able to lay a massive seven-spot with the help of four goals from special teams. We're going to see a tighter, smarter game in Game 4 that looks more like the defensive battle most people anticipated. Jordan Binnington needs a huge bounce-back performance and Tuukka Rask should hold strong in net. Doesn't seem like we're in for a lot of goals in Game 4.

St. Louis -115 STL -115

Boston 2 @ St. Louis 4
6/04
BOS 2 @ STL 4
6/04
WIN
Mon 6/3

The scoreline shows the Blues got absolutely throttled in Game 3 and that's not incorrect, but so much of that damage (four goals) came on the power play because the Blues played stupid, undisciplined hockey. That should serve as a wake-up call for this resilient St. Louis team, which will basically be playing for its season in Game 4 at home. They've still looked decent at 5-on-5 and they should play a smarter, cleaner brand of hockey on Monday night to allow themselves a chance to even this series. Jordan Binnington looked rough and was pulled for the first time all playoffs last time out, but statistically he's been good following losses this season (.936 SV%) and now he has a little something to prove in Game 4. Blues pick up the pieces and bounce back once again to make it a best-of-three heading back to Boston.

7-5 IN LAST 12 BOS ML PICKS | +78

5-3 IN LAST 8 STL ML PICKS | +74

Boston +100 BOS +100

Boston 7 @ St. Louis 2
6/02
BOS 7 @ STL 2
6/02
WIN
Sat 6/1

The Blues found major improvement on both ends of the ice in Game 2 and looked more like the team that got them to this point in the first place. But the Bruins didn't play up to their ability and were forced to play with five defensemen for the final 40-plus minutes of the game. They haven't gotten anything from their top line so far (0 goals for, 3 against at 5-on-5 in the series), but there's too much talent there to be quiet for much longer. The Blues are still taking too many penalties and giving the Bruins' special teams too many opportunities. Look for Boston to show some resilience and bounce back with a strong, high-intensity performance in Game 3 on the road.

7-5 IN LAST 12 BOS ML PICKS | +78

5-3 IN LAST 8 STL ML PICKS | +74

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