Patrice Bergeron leads Bruins to 3-0 series lead with double-OT winner
|06.06.13 at 12:15 am ET|
The Bruins fended off a much improved Penguins effort Wednesday night at TD Garden, getting a 2-1 double-overtime win thanks to Patrice Bergeron‘s latest game-winner and taking a 3-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals.
The win was Boston’s fourth overtime victory of the postseason. Bergeron, who scored the series-clincher in Game 7 against of the first round against the Maple Leafs, redirected a Brad Marchand pass past Tomas Vokoun with 4:41 left in the second overtime.
Game 4 will be played Friday at TD Garden, with the series shifting back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Sunday if necessary.
The Bruins scored the first goal of the game for the third time in as many games series thanks to a David Krejci shot that went off Matt Niskanen‘s skate and past Vokoun for Krejci’s ninth goal of the postseason. The goal came just 1:42 into the game, and the score remained 1-0 until the Penguins finally got a goal out of their top six forwards when Chris Kunitz put them on the board in the second period.
The Bruins lost Gregory Campbell in the second period after he blocked an Evgeni Malkin slap shot from the point with the Penguins on the power play.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Tuukka Rask was sensational at times on Wednesday, coming up big with saves on James Neal and Beau Bennett on the Penguins’ third power play of the night. But perhaps his biggest save of the night came on Kris Letang in front off a feed from Sidney Crosby behind the net in the opening minutes of the third period. He finished regulation with 38 saves. He also came up big with about five minutes to play in the fourth period with back to back saves on Pascal Dupuis and Craig Adams.
– The B’s got the Penguins to take a couple of retaliatory penalties — Joe Vitale in the first and Kunitz in the third — to wipe out what would have been Pittsburgh power plays. On the other hand, Brad Marchand now has taken three dangerous penalties in three games — boarding James Neal in Game 1, tripping Crosby in Game 2 and kneeing Kunitz in Game 3.
– The Bruins stopped the Penguins on six power plays (including two in overtime), making Pittsburgh 0-for-12 on the series. Prior to the series, the Penguins had scored at least one power play goal in eight of 11 games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Penguins began dominating on faceoffs (37 of 56 in regulation), and it paid off for them when Crosby beat Bergeron on a second period offensive-zone draw for the Penguins that led to Kunitz’ goal. Through regulation, no Bruin was above the 50 percent mark on faceoffs, with Bergeron winning eight of 22 faceoffs and Chris Kelly winning three of 13.
– David Krejci missed a shift in the third period after taking a forearm to the head from Deryk Engelland. The play went unpenalized but could be looked at by the league.
– The Bruins were positively abhorrent on a pair of third-period power plays on which they could have regained the lead. With Douglas Murray slashing Rich Peverley and Dupuis going off later for tripping Johnny Boychuk at the point, the Bruins mustered barely any offensive-zone time and totaled just one shot on goal (which came at the very beginning of the Murray penalty) between the two power plays. That’s a textbook case of a bad power play being costly.
– Dan Bylsma clearly made the right call in sticking with Vokoun. After letting in a goal off a deflection early on, Vokoun was consistently sound. Remember, he didn’t necessarily play bad in the first two games, but the Penguins had to do something in that first period of Game 2 with the Bruins exposing Pittsburgh’s defense.
– Campbell was in serious pain after laying out to block a Malkin shot from the point with the Penguins on the power play in the second period. After blocking the shot, Campbell stayed down on a knee before slowly getting up. The play continued as he got back on his feet, but he could barely move. Given that the play was still going on, he contributed as best as he could, softly getting his stick on a Penguins pass and knocking it back to Malkin. As fans took note of what was going on, the crowd began to chant “Camp-bell” and did so again as he headed off the ice and down the tunnel in pain.
– Kelly’s career-worst stretch of games without a goal now has reached 19 games. He was very good on the Penguins’ first power play, but he struggled on faceoffs (see above) and aside from a second-period two-on-one and the rebound of Jarmoir Jagr bid in double overtime Wednesday just hasn’t gotten significant scoring chances. This has been a disappointing season for Kelly, and that hasn’t changed in the playoffs.
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