Final, Bruins 3-0: That’s it, and that’s all. The Bruins win Game 1 by a score of 3-0, and they take the 1-0 series lead.
Third period, 18:50, Bruins 3-0: Sidney Crosby is getting frustrated.
He was just called for slashing, and he’ll sit in the box for the rest of the game, unless the B’s get a power-play goal.
Third period, 15:16, Bruins 3-0: The Penguins don’t look too enthused or inspired right now, and the Bruins have no problem with playing safe and conservative to nurse the three-goal lead.
The B’s, despite playing cautiously here in the third, have just as many shots on goal as the Penguins, despite Pittsburgh’s early dominance.
Third period, 11:30, Bruins 3-0: Tuukka Rask has been splendid so far, and he’s arguably the biggest reasons the B’s are half of a period away from winning.
He just had a tremendous 1-2 save combination on Sidney Crosby and then Chris Kunitz to ensure the B’s three-goal lead stays intact for the time being.
Third period, 7:51, Bruins 3-0: This is far from over, but the Bruins are sitting pretty.
Nathan Horton just scored a relatively easy goal after a rebound went straight to him on the left wing, and he buried the wrist shot to give the B’s a 3-0 lead.
Third period, 4:04, Bruins 2-0: This is what happens when you make the Bruins mad, apparently.
David Krejci continues his Conn Smythe-like campaign with his second goal of the night, and the Bruins now lead 2-0.
Third period, 2:00, Bruins 1-0: The third period is underway, with the Bruins killing off what was left of the Brad Marchand penalty.
Second period reaction: This is what we’ve been looking for in terms of hatred between the Bruins and their opponents in the playoffs.
The B’s and Penguins just got real nasty at the end of the period, and that came to a head in the biggest way with a rare fight for both Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin. The extracirriculars also featured a dust-up between Sidney Crosby and Tuukka Rask, of all people. That didn’t sit well with Zdeno Chara, who had to be restrained by the officials as he went after Crosby. As you might imagine, Crosby didn’t really want much of that — until the linesmen stepped in.
The Penguins had some more chances in the second period, and that can’t go overlooked with the way the period ended. The Penguins will have power-play time left once the third period begins, and they’re starting to get chances on the power play. A Pittsburgh shot hit the post that led to a scramble in front of the net.
End second period, Bruins 1-0: The second period comes to an end with a lot of nasty.
It all culminated with a Patrice Bergeron-Evgeni Malkin fight at center ice. This is more hatred than we’ve seen in any of the Bruins’ series combined so far.
Speaking of hatred, here’s video of the Matt Cooke hit on Adam McQuaid.
Second period, 19:30, Bruins 1-0: Brad Marchand just had a dangerous hit on James Neal, as he shoved the Pittsburgh forward from behind in front of the Pens bench.
However, Marchand only got two minutes for the hit, much to the dismay of the Penguins.
Second period, 13:36, Bruins 1-0: The Penguins are now 0-for-3 on the power play, and the Bruins almost scored on the penalty kill.
Patrice Bergeron had a brilliant chance all alone on a shorthanded breakaway, but he wasn’t able to get control of the puck and the chance was missed.
Chris Kunitz came close to getting Pittsburgh on the board, but he hit the post with a power-play chance, and the B’s remain ahead 1-0.
Second period, 11:04, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins are really starting to play with fire by giving the Penguins chances on the power play.
Nathan Horton just slashed Evgeni Malkin, and that gives the Pens their third power play of the evening.
Second period, 10:00, Bruins 1-0: Adam McQuaid has returned to the bench and to the game after leaving for a while after taking the hit from Matt Cooke.
Second period, 7:00, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins weren’t able to get anything out of the extended power play following the Matt Cooke penalty.
So far, the Bruins are back to the whole “they’d probably be better off declining the penalty” swing of their power-play situation.
Second period, 1:32, Bruins 1-0: More of the same from Matt Cooke.
The Penguins forward just leveled Adam McQuaid with a hit from behind, and the supposedly reformed Cooke was called for checking from behind, and he was also slapped with a game misconduct. It’s a 5-minute penalty, so the Bruins will have three minutes of power play time after Chris Kelly serves a roughing penalty.
Second period, 0:10, Bruins 1-0: The second period is underway.
First period reaction: The Penguins looked good in the first period, but the Bruins have the lead through 20 minutes.
Pittsburgh outshot, out-chanced and outhit the B’s in the first period, but Boston was able to withstand the charge, thanks in large part to Tuukka Rask. The Boston netminder was sharp, especially on a pair of penalty kills. Rask had to stop five power-play shots as part of his 11 first-period saves. He was really good on the first kill where he stopped three combined shots from Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.
Speaking of Malkin, he’s been the best player on the ice so far. He’s all over the place, and his incredible strength and speed through the neutral zone earned the Penguins their second power play of the night. It was a good penalty for Patrice Bergeron to take really, as Malkin would have had a golden chance on a 2-on-1 with James Neal.
Despite all of the chances and strong play from Pittsburgh, the Bruins are the ones with the lead. David Krejci continues to be a postseason menace, as he was the the one who got Boston on the board. Krejci beat Tomas Vokoun with a relatively soft goal that squeaked through the goalie’s pads. It looks like the puck may have deflected off of Paul Martin’s skate after he fell to the ice following a strong net drive from Andrew Ference.
The Bruins need to get more shots on Vokoun. The veteran goalie was a little shaky with rebound control, which the Bruins can take advantage of. Jaromir Jagr almost did so, but Vokoun made his best save of the period when he gloved a Jagr rebound attempt.
End first period, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins take the 1-0 lead to the dressing room in spite of another unsuccessful power play.
With just a few seconds left in the period, the Penguins had their best chance of the period, thanks to a Zdeno Chara turnover in the Boston end. Fortunately for the B’s, Rask made the save and then got lucky as the puck squirted through Rask and rolled out of the crease.
First period, 16:57, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins get another power play after Brooks Orprik is called for interference.
First period, 15:00, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins’ penalty kill looks really good in the early going, but they’ve certainly been tested.
Tuukka Rask has been the B’s best penalty killer, and he was up to the task again on the previous Pittsburgh power play. Zdeno Chara was also very good for the B’s, and they just killed off the Pens’ second power play of the game.
First period, 12:24, Bruins 1-0: The Penguins are gonna get another power play, and one of the club’s best penalty killers is in the box.
Patrice Bergeron had to hook Evgeni Malkin.
First period, 11:40, Bruins 1-0: Absolutely nothing for the Bruins on the power play. Sidney Crosby is out of the box, and Boston’s first power-play chance is wasted.
First period, 9:22, Bruins 1-0: Now the Bruins get a power play.
Sidney Crosby hip-checked Patrice Bergeron along the boards, but Bergeron didn’t have the puck. So that’s interference, and the B’s get their first power play of the night.
First period, 8:23, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins strike first.
David Krejci continues his playoff domination, and he makes up for his early penalty by getting on the board. Krejci beat Tomas Vokoun five-hole with what was a pretty soft goal. The B’s now lead 1-0.
First period, 6:30, 0-0: The Bruins killed off the early penalty, thanks to a couple of big saves from Tuukka Rask.
The Bruins goalie turned away a pair of shots from Evgeni Malkin, as well as one from Sidney Crosby.
First period, 3:54, 0-0: The Penguins have 13 power-play goals in 46 chances in the playoffs, and they’ll get an early chance here.
David Krejci was just called for tripping Evgeni Malkin.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: Finally! It’s go time, and we’re under way in Pittsburgh and we’re under way in the Eastern Conference final.
8:10 p.m.: Andrew Ference is returning to the Bruins’ lineup. He’ll replace Matt Bartkowski.
7:58 p.m.: The Bruins appear to be going with the same forward lines they’ve used for a while now. In case you’re new around here, this is what they’re going with.
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley — Chris Kelly — Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton
7:49 p.m.: Andrew Ference and Matt Bartkowski are both taking rushes for the Bruins alternating alongside Johnny Boychuk, so it doesn’t look like the pregame skate will give us any indication as to what’s going on with the Bruins’ blue line.
7:45 p.m.: Apparently Andrew Ference’s walking boot was just precautionary, I suppose. The Bruins defenseman is on the ice for pregame warmups, but so is Matt Bartkowski. Obviously nothing is official yet, so we’ll wait to see what Claude Julien does with his lineup.
7:39 p.m.: The Bruins and Penguins just took the ice for pregame warmups. Believe it or not, Tuukka Rask led the B’s out. There will finally be hockey in just a little bit.
7 p.m.: We’re still a little more than an hour away from puck drop in Pittsburgh, as NESN pregame coverage begins on NESN.
In the meantime, here are a few Bruins-related pieces to keep you busy.
Here’s a story on how the Bruins will certainly have their hands full with a deep, high-powered offense on the other side.
NESN Nation’s Dan Duquette Jr. and I previewed the series in podcast form. Listen to that here.
Jaromir Jagr is still well-represented in the Penguins’ dressing room.
Here’s one from last series, but Claude Julien talked about working under pressure in Boston.
Finally, this series has a chance to be really, really awesome.
6:30 p.m.: This is the portion of our program where we take a look at what the Bruins will have waiting for them across the ice. The Penguins are loaded. Like, really loaded. You knew this already.
Let’s take a look at the forward lines they showed at morning skate, shall we?
Chris Kunitz — Sidney Crosby — Pascal Dupuis
Jarome Iginla — Evgeni Malkin — James Neal
Matt Cooke — Brandon Sutter — Tyler Kennedy
Brenden Morrow — Jussi Jokinen — Craig Adams
6:10 p.m.: We’re still two hours from Game 1 (puck drop is supposedly after 8 at 8:20, so the wait is actually a little longer), so while we wait, let’s go over a couple of things.
First, perhaps most notably, is the fact that Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference says he wants to play in Game 1. That would mark his first appearance since Game 4 of the first round. However, according to WBZ’s Dan Roche, Ference entered the CONSOL Energy Center wearing a walking boot. That would seem to indicate that the B’s would be without Ference. Then again, it could be some pretty extreme gamesmanship. Ference has been practicing, and he did take the ice at morning skate Saturday, but he wasn’t among the top six D-men during practice.
Speaking of those D-pairs, here’s what the Bruins went with at morning skate, according to the team’s Twitter account.
Zdeno Chara — Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid
Matt Bartkowski — Johnny Boychuk
Those are the same pairing the Bruins used for Game 5 of the second round against the Rangers, and it worked out pretty well. However, the Penguins are not the Rangers.
8 a.m. ET: Finally.
After a week of rest for both teams, the Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins meet in the Eastern Conference final in what’s expected to be a very entertaining series. You’d be hard-pressed to find many people who think the B’s and Pens aren’t the best teams in the Eastern Conference, so it’s only fitting that they meet with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.
There is no shortage of storylines entering this series. Legacies are on the line on both sides. Jarome Iginla, who shunned Boston for Pittsburgh at the trade deadline, now has to go through the Bruins to get to the Cup Final. Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski, who was a part of the proposed Iginla trade, is a Pittsburgh native. Boston forward Jaromir Jagr is returning to Pittsburgh where he molded the foundation for a Hall of Fame career while becoming one of the best players in franchise history. Matt Cooke is likely to play a part at some point in the series, three years removed from ending Marc Savard’s career.
When it comes to the lineups, there are things to keep an eye on as well. Claude Julien and the Bruins will have decisions to make when it comes to defensemen. Torey Krug was sensational in the second round against New York as he, Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton replaced the injured Andrew Ference, Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg. The latter three are starting to get healthy — Seidenberg replaced Hamilton in the lineup for Game 5 against New York — leaving the B’s with some likely tough choices. On the Pittsburgh side, it certainly looks like this is Tomas Vokoun’s team. The veteran goaltender took over for Marc-Andre Fleury in the first round and hasn’t looked back since. However, the B’s are one big offensive explosion away from perhaps forcing a goalie controversy on Pittsburgh.
There is intrigue abound, and the best part is that a trip to the Cup Final rides on it all. The Bruins and Penguins will play Game 1 on Saturday night at 8 p.m. Be sure to join us then and check in for updates throughout the day.