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Penguins vs Bruins

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Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Penguins run out of wiggle room after Game 3 loss

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 1:57 AM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal seemed as eager for answers as the pack of reporters that pressed teammate Craig Adams with a barrage of questions about how the Penguins could find a way back from a devastating 2-1 double-overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Jaromir Jagr, the Pittsburgh legend now wearing the black-and-gold of Boston had just set up yet another clutch goal by Patrice Bergeron, this one coming 15:19 into of double overtime, a dozen minutes after Wednesday had turned into Thursday.

As the Bruins celebrated to the right of the valiant, but ultimately beaten Pittsburgh goalie, Tomas Vokoun, the Penguins shuffled off the TD Garden ice, their bodies taxed by the effort required just to lose a game they had to win, their minds plagued by not only the what-ifs, but the what-will-bes.

Bruins forward Campbell sidelined with injury

Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 10:56 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Gregory Campbell
Center - BOS
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 7
SOG: 20 | +/-: 7
Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell left Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins with an injury and will not return.

Campbell blocked a slap shot by Evgeni Malkin during a second-period power play, apparently in the midsection, and was clearly injured. He struggled to his feet and managed to help Boston kill the rest of the penalty despite being barely able to move.

The fourth-line forward's efforts drew a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd, who showered him with chants of “Camp-bell! Camp-bell!” in recognition of his effort.

However, he did not appear on the bench when the Bruins came out for the third period, and Boston said he will not return to the game.

Five things to look for in Game 3 of Bruins-Penguins

Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 2:43 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BOSTON -- The Pittsburgh Penguins essentially will be playing to save their season when they face the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

That desperation should serve the Penguins well in a hostile environment at TD Garden and could be described as a potential edge for Pittsburgh.

However, the same could have been said for Game 2 when the Penguins should have been fighting to avoid the very situation in which they find themselves. Instead, Boston scored 28 seconds into the game and never looked back, cruising to a 6-1 victory.

It's somewhat obvious the Bruins will want to maintain the status quo in Game 3, while the Penguins will need to make some drastic adjustments.

Here are five things to watch for:

Krug proving second-round heroics were no mirage

Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 2:12 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- After Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Torey Krug was thrown into the lineup because of injuries to three veteran blueliners, he lit into the New York Rangers with four goals and five points in his team's five-game triumph in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

From there, the first-year pro could have become a flash in the pan.

With three games of NHL experience, all in the regular season, prior to joining the Bruins lineup for Game 1 against the Rangers, the 22-year-old was an unknown quantity. Surely against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final, the book on him would be common knowledge and he might have to change his game or become overwhelmed by the magnitude of his situation.

Well, with the Bruins building the 2-0 series lead they'll carry into Game 3 Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden, Krug has been every bit as impactful for the Bruins against the Penguins as he was against the Rangers.

He assisted on one of Boston's six goals in Game 2 Saturday with a shot through traffic that led to Nathan Horton cashing in on the rebound. Krug created several other chances and continued to be a key puck-carrier for the Bruins when beating the Penguins' forecheck.

"Pittsburgh's definitely different than the Rangers. I think it all comes back to being the same player that I was against New York," Krug said after the morning skate Wednesday. "Trying to be efficient, playing with the puck more than the other team, taking control of that puck and keeping care of it. So it's just all about efficiency and not putting yourself in bad situations."

Tale of the Tape: Vokoun vs. Fleury

Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 1:19 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final Staff

Wednesday morning, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma picked Tomas Vokoun ahead of Marc-Andre Fleury as his starting goaltender for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

With Bylsma's team having lost the first two games of the series on home ice, it could be a series-defining decision.

But was it the right one?

Neither goaltender has been close to outstanding in the first two games; the Bruins have scored nine goals. Vokoun allowed three on 30 shots in Game 1, then was pulled in the first period of Game 2 after letting in three goals on 12 shots in the first 16:31 of the game. Fleury wasn't much better, stopping 14 of 17 shots in two-plus periods.

Vokoun has been solid in getting the Penguins to this point, but Fleury has more playoff experience, including a Stanley Cup ring. Senior Managing Editor Shawn P. Roarke makes the case for sticking with Vokoun, while Deputy Managing Editor Adam Kimelman believes the Penguins should have gone back to Fleury.

Penguins feel they can come back against Bruins

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Through the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been good enough to overcome just about any deficit. But it's been quite the opposite through two games of the Eastern Conference Final.

Pittsburgh trails the best-of-7 series, 2-0, against the Boston Bruins in advance of Game 3 Wednesday night at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). A big reason is the Penguins have been trailing in games early and often.

"Very early on [Monday] night, we got behind by a goal and then the second goal ... and we got off our game plan," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said after practice Tuesday. "We got off our individual games by trying to get back a goal or goals by one play, by one instance, by one situation, and it got us off a path and we deviated from the game plan in an effort to do so."

Bruins' top line outshining star-studded Penguins

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BOSTON -- Entering the Eastern Conference Final, the series was pitted as a battle of the Pittsburgh Penguins' offensive dominance against the stingy defense of the Boston Bruins.

With the Penguins icing a star-studded cast led by two of the best players in the world, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the focus in analyzing the Bruins' chances of pulling off the upset fell on defenseman Zdeno Chara and Selke Trophy candidate Patrice Bergeron.

But the Bruins have some pretty good offensive players of their own, and they've shown it in jumping to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series heading into Game 3 Wednesday at TD Garden in Boston (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

David Krejci was leading the Stanley Cup Playoff scoring race before the series began, and all he's done is extend that lead with three goals in the first two games of the series to give him eight goals and 12 assists in 13 games. Linemates Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic have followed his lead, with Horton notching two goals and three assists through two games and Lucic picking up two assists in the series.

The offensive powerhouse line of this series, at least to this point, is the one that was somewhat overlooked coming into it.

Bruins know not to be overly confident with 2-0 lead

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BEDFORD, Mass. -- The 2011 Boston Bruins, who went on to win the Stanley Cup, might have lacked the firepower of the current Pittsburgh Penguins, but the team that snapped a 39-year championship drought still could score with the best teams in the NHL.

That squad ranked fifth in the regular season in goals per game and was the best 5-on-5 team in the League.

Yet, in a first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens and in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks, the Bruins' offense couldn't get out of park in the first two games of those series. They scored one goal against the Canadiens and two against the Canucks en route to falling into 0-2 deficits.

But we know how both those series turned out.

Bylsma not ready to reveal Penguins' Game 3 goalie

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he knows who he's going to start in goal for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

He's just not ready to tell the world.

Bylsma won't say whether it'll be Marc-Andre Fleury or Tomas Vokoun between the pipes for Game 3 -- even if, as suggested by a media member, doing so might improve the karma for a team that has lost two consecutive games while abiding by Bylsma's postseason policy of not discussing specific lineup or injury questions.

"That," Bylsma said with a smile, "is not going to change the karma for our team. We're going to do that in other ways."

Vokoun pulled for Fleury; who starts Game 3?

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Marc-Andre Fleury said it took a little time to shake off the rust after not appearing in a game for 27 days.

Fleury was summoned to replace Tomas Vokoun after the latter allowed three goals over the first 12 shots he faced when the Pittsburgh Penguins suffered a 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of this Eastern Conference Final at Consol Energy Center. Fleury didn't fare much better, allowing three goals on 17 shots over the final 39:24 of the game and the Penguins fell behind 2-0 in the best-of-7 series.

Neither was to blame, coach Dan Bylsma said, and it’s unknown if Fleury will get the starting nod when the series shifts to TD Garden in Boston on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"It's tough to evaluate given the breakdowns and the type of scoring chances that they scored on for both goalies," Bylsma said.

Vokoun was victimized by a Brad Marchand breakaway, a Kris Letang failed clear, and a 3-on-2 capped by a David Krejci shot in being beaten three times for the second consecutive game. That followed a stretch in which he allowed 14 goals in seven games after Bylsma turned to him to replace ineffective Fleury following Game 4 of the first-round series against the New York Islanders.

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