The St. Louis Blues are looking for their first Stanley Cup title while the Boston Bruins can add their name to the championships won by theircity in the past year.
The teams will determine which scenario comes trueas the Stanley Cup Final gets underway Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBC) at Boston.
The Blues are making their first appearance in the Final since 1970, when they also faced the Bruins and were swept.
The Bruins won in 2011,and if they do it again, they would join the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots in holding championship parades.
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Will the Bruins or Blues prevail? The USA TODAY SportsNHL desk makes its picks:
Kevin Allen, Bruins in 6: The Blues have played inspirational hockey in this postseason. They have lived up to every challenge, but they haven't yet faced a challenge like the Bruins. Boston has displayed every attribute of a champion, including grit, scoring, defensive excellence, moxie and goaltending brilliance. No one in the postseason has played better than Boston goalie Tuukka Rask is playing.
Conn Smythe winner: Rask
Jimmy Hascup, Bruins in 6.The Blues have been on a spectacular run, but they have not faced a team in the West these playoffs that are as complete as the Bruins. St. Louis beat the Jets, a perennial disappointment when factoring in their talent, the Stars, a team that struggled to score, and the Sharks, an injured (and tired) group. The Bruins can wear you down with three lines that can score and a defense that moves the puck well. The X-factor is Tuukka Rask, who has a .942 save percentage in the playoffs.
Conn Smythe: Brad Marchand
Mike Brehm, Bruins in 7.There's concern about potential rust for the Bruins -teams that swept an opponent in this year's playoffs have gone 2-12 in the next round - but Boston has shown plenty of resilience. They overcame 2-1 series deficits in the first two rounds, and Tuukka Rask and the offense are clicking now. Expect a physical, evenly playedseries that will go the distance, where home ice and Rask will give the Bruins the Game 7 edge.
Conn Smythe: Rask
Jace Evans, Bruins in 6.What Jordan Binnington has done for the Blues this year has been special; unfortunately, they're facing a goalie playing at an even higher level. Tuukka Rask has been the backbone of the Bruins, putting up a.942 save percentage, and unlike the rookie Binnington, Rask has been on this stage before. His play has helped Boston rip off seven straight victories, and that run has afforded the Bruins extra rest they haven't played since May 16 that should help their veteran core.