Final, Bruins 1-0: After a frantic scramble, the Bruins are able to hang on.
Fittingly, Tuukka Rask gloves the last-ditch effort at the buzzer, and the Bruins are headed back to the Stanley Cup Final.
Third period, 18:03, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins aren’t going to sit on it. They just forced a defensive zone faceoff with less than two to play.
Third period, 17:02, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins are less than three minutes away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
Third period, 14:44, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins were able to kill off the Nathan Horton penalty, and they almost took the lead just as Kris Letang stepped out of the box to begin the Pittsburgh power play.
Daniel Paille was sprung on a breakaway and went in all alone. He had Tomas Vokoun down on the ice, but he missed over the crossbar and hit the glass.
Third period, 12:24, Bruins 1-0: Just a little more than a minute after the power play begins, it ends.
Nathan Horton was called for holding, as he pulled down Douglas Murray.
That came just a few seconds after Jaromir Jagr rang the post with a wrist shot.
Third period, 11:21, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins are going to get a chance to really put this thing away with a power play midway through the third period.
Kris Letang was just called for tripping, as he stuck his leg out while Patrice Bergeron tried to slide around him. It looked, from my perspective at least, to be pretty close to knee-on-knee. Either way, he’s off for two minutes, and the Bruins look to go up by a pair.
Third period, 6:04, Bruins 1-0: The noise level has been increased just a tad here after Adam McQuaid’s second goal of the playoffs.
It was probably as loud if not louder than it was in Game 7 of the first round against Toronto. The “We want the Cup” chant just broke out as well.
Third period, 5:01, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins’ defensemen have been pouring it in all playoffs long, and they’re at it again, but it’s not who you might expect.
Adam McQuaid just ripped a shot from the right point by Tomas Vokoun to give the Bruins the first goal of the game. Great job by McQuaid of jumping into the play and then blasting it by Vokoun.
Click here to see the goal.
Third period, 0:01, 0-0: The third period is underway. For the Bruins, it’s win one period and you’re onto the Stanley Cup Final. For the Penguins, win one period or your season is done.
Second period reaction: This has been a defensive struggle through two periods, and again, that kind of plays into the Bruins’ hands — to an extent. We’re obviously reaching the point of the game where it might take just one goal to win, and with the offensive firepower the Penguins have, they certainly have plenty of guys who could eventually get something by Tuukka Rask. But on the other hand, the Bruins don’t mind the tight-checking game, and if they can continue to execute in that manner, it may eventually open up an opportunity against the inferior Pittsburgh defense.
Here’s the thing, though. Tomas Vokoun has been pretty darn good through 40 minutes. He hasn’t had to stand on his head per se, but he’s handled everything the Bruins have thrown at him. Vokoun stopped Tyler Seguin three times in the second period alone, and he’s done a much better job at controlling the rebounds. The one glaring chance he created on a rebound was whiffed on by Rich Peverley, so it’s all working out so far for the Pittsburgh goaltender.
At the other end, the Tuukka Rask show continues. The Bruins goalie has been pretty remarkable through these three games, having allowed just two goals through more than three games in this series, which includes double overtime in Game 2.
Sidney Crosby has been creating chances for the Penguins with four shots on goal (not including two shots that were blocked and one that missed the net). He’s looked much better, although he’s still being worked over in the faceoff dot, going 6-for-16, including 3-for-9 against Patrice Bergeron.
End second period, 0-0: The second period comes to an end with the game still scoreless.
Tuukka Rask needed to make an impressive right pad save in the final 10 seconds on a Paul Martin shot from the right point.
Second period, 14:06, 0-0: Tomas Vokoun continues to impress. Despite a shaky Game 3 performance, he’s been pretty darn good in this series, and he’s having arguably his best game with the season on the line.
Just ask Tyler Seguin.
The Bruins’ winger continues to struggle when it comes to putting the puck in the net, and that’s thanks in large part to Vokoun. The Pittsburgh goalie just stoned Seguin twice in about three minutes. The first came on a quasi-breakaway in which Seguin went glove side, but Vokoun got just enough of the mitt on it. A few moments later, Seguin barreled in from the other wing and put a shot low and toward the far corner. Vokoun kicked it aside, and Rich Peverley couldn’t convert on the rebound chance with a pretty open net.
Second period, 8:17, 0-0: The Bruins’ penalty kill comes through yet again with a very, very good penalty kill.
Twelve seconds after the penalty expired, Brenden Morrow tripped Brad Marchand, and the Bruins are about to go on their second power play.
Second period, 6:05, 0-0: The Penguins are going back on the power play, as Brad Marchand is heading back to the penalty box.
The Boston agitator was just called for cross-checking, and maybe this is where Pittsburgh gets its power play going. The Bruins have certainly given them a lot of chances.
Second period, 3:22, 0-0: Kaspars Daugavins almost put the Bruins ahead in his first game since Game 1 of the Toronto series.
However, Tomas Vokoun robbed Daugavins as the forward slid into the slot and put a shot on net.
Moments later, Brad Marchand and Matt Niskanen get matching roughing penalties as they get into a shoving match following a whistle.
Second period, 0:01, 0-0: The second period is underway.
First period reaction: Well, that was a relatively uneventful first period, which you have to think favors the Bruins.
Neither team had any real terrific scoring chances, and the Bruins did a good job of withstanding a solid start from Pittsburgh. The Penguins came out and tilted the ice in the opening minutes, but the B’s fought back and ended up outshooting the Pens 11-9 in the first period.
Once again, Tuukka Rask looks solid. He’s handled everything he’s seen, and he’s not giving much in way of rebounds. He’s already had to make a couple of big saves on both Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang, two guys who know what to do with the puck on their sticks. The two of them, plus Evgeni Malkin and Jarome Iginla, remain scoreless for the series.
End first period, 0-0: The first period, a fairly uneventful stanza, comes to an end with no score. The Bruins ended up outshooting the Penguins 11-9 in the first 20 minutes.
First period, 16:40, 0-0: Tuukka Rask with another good save, as he just stopped a Kris Letang shot with Sidney Crosby barreling down the slot for a rebound that never came.
First period, 14:22, 0-0: We’re more than 14 minutes into the game, and we’ve only seen nine combined shots in what’s been a pretty good defensive struggle so far.
Sidney Crosby had arguably the best chance of the game earlier in the slot, but Tuukka Rask turned it aside. Just before the last whistle, Chris Kelly got a puck on goal, but it was squeezed easily in the midsection of Tomas Vokoun.
Also, Gregory Campbell is in attendance for this one. The Bruins showed his gutsy shift on the video board above the ice, and they ended up showing the Bruins forward, who is in attendance. Unsurprisingly, it got a huge standing ovation from the sellout crowd in attendance.
First period, 13:01, 0-0: The Bruins’ power play comes up short once again, but there was some progress if we’re comparing game to game. After struggling to gain the offensive zone on the power play in Game 3, the Boston power play did generate some chances here in its first chance of Game 4.
It looks like Claude Julien is going to use his fourth line, or at least Shawn Thornton, sparingly. The fourth liner just got his first shift of the game a little more than 10 minutes in.
First period, 9:22, 0-0: Now the Bruins get their first power play of the evening.
The Penguins were called for too many men on the ice, and maybe the man-advantage will jump-start a somewhat lethargic Bruins team.
First period, 6:30:,0-0: Just like that, Sidney Crosby has returned to the ice. So he appears to be no worse for the wear, or however the saying goes.
The Penguins look good in the early going, and they are putting some pressure on the Bruins here. Tuukka Rask had to just freeze a loose puck in his crease, as there was plenty of traffic around him.
First period, 5:30, 0-0: The Bruins killed off the penalty.
Sidney Crosby, who was hit by Daniel Paille, appears to be shaken up at the very least. He hasn’t seen the ice in a couple of minutes of game time.
First period, 2:35, 0-0: The game’s first power play goes to the Penguins.
Milan Lucic was just called for unsportmanslike conduct in what looked to be, quite frankly, an awful call.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: It’s go time. Let’s do this. Game 4 is underway.
8:02 p.m.: Nice moment here in the pregame festivities as William and Patricia Campbell of Medford waved the Boston Strong fan banner together. Their daughter, Krystle, was one of the three killed in the Boston Marathon bombings.
7:56 p.m.: It is official. Kaspars Daugavins is in for the Bruins, while Tyler Kennedy replaces Joe Vitale for Pittsburgh.
7:37 p.m.: It looks like the Bruins are indeed going with the same lines they showed in morning skate.
The Penguins, meanwhile, appear to be going with the following forward lines.
Chris Kunit — Sidney Crosby — Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke — Evgeni Malkin — James Neal
Beau Bennett — Brandon Sutter — Jarome Iginla
Brenden Morrow — Craig Adams — Tyler Kennedy
7:30 p.m.: Both teams have taken the ice for pregame warmups. We’ll have more in a bit.
6:54 p.m.: Good evening and welcome to TD Garden, the site of Game 4 between the Bruins and the Penguins, where the B’s will look to send the Pens home for the summer.
We’re about a half-hour away from pregame skate, which is when we’re likely to have the line combinations confirmed. In case you missed the news earlier, here’s what the Bruins showed at morning skate earlier as they look to fill the hole left by Gregory Campbell’s injury.
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Jaromir Jagr
Kaspars Daugavins — Rich Peverley — Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille — Chris Kelly — Daniel Paille
5:14 p.m.: Looking back to Wednesday/Thursday’s Game 3, many (Pittsburgh) fans are arguing that Jagr was hooking Malkin during the turnover in the neutral zone that led to the game-winning goal in double-overtime. While Claude Julien didn’t directly address that play, he was asked about penalties in overtime. Check out his response below.
“I know there’s been a lot of discussion about that whole thing. But anybody who watched the game, there was a standard that was established in that game. That’s why nobody’s really complaining on the hockey side of it, either team. There were a lot of things that might have been, could have been called, but wasn’t. It’s the both on same sides. You can go through the whole game, but if you took time to watch the game over again, you’d see a lot of things that didn’t get called. At the end of the day, as long as the standards are the same for both teams — we can argue we want a certain standard. I’d like my team to play the same every night, but it doesn’t. It’s too easy to pick on referees — way too easy. At the end of the night, it’s what the standard was. If it was the same for both teams, there shouldn’t be any complaints.”
2:54 p.m.: Claude Julien was dishing out some praise for the Black and Gold’s Little Ball of Hate after morning skate on Friday, explaining how Marchand has been playing with confidence and emotion in this postseason. -JB
11:03 a.m.: Kaspars Daugavins was spotted skating with Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley at morning skate. Chris Kelly, meanwhile, was bumped to the Merlot Line in Gregory Campbell’s absence. – JB
8 a.m. ET: All it takes is one win.
That’s what the Bruins are hoping to get Friday night at TD Garden, where they’ll host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. If the Bruins can come away victorious, they’ll finish off the four-game sweep and earn themselves a place in the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three years.
Boston took Pittsburgh’s best effort of the series Wednesday night, and the B’s withstood it just long enough to win Game 3 in double overtime on a goal from Patrice Bergeron. With the goal, the B’s took the commanding 3-0 series lead, their second of the playoffs. The Bruins also went up 3-0 on the Rangers in the second round, and after losing Game 4 in New York, the B’s bounced back to win Game 5 in Boston.
They’d rather not let this one go five, though. The Bruins have a chance to close out the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed at home and ensure that no life is breathed into the Penguins. The Pens are still a dangerous bunch, and the last thing the Bruins want to do is to give Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of that high-octane bunch any life.
The Bruins will have to make a change, though. They will be without center Gregory Campbell, who is out for the rest of the postseason after breaking his right fibula Wednesday night in Game 3. Campbell was injured when he went down to block an Evgeni Malkin slapshot, and while he valiantly ended his shift, the injury cost him the rest of the season. Kaspars Daugavins, Jordan Caron, Carl Soderberg and Jay Pandolfo are all among the options to replace Campbell.
We’ll know more Friday morning, and we’ll have updates throughout the day leading up to puck drop at 8 p.m. from TD Garden.