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Penguins vs Bruins

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Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Penguins' way back from deficit involves five steps

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- The comeback, if there is to be one for the Pittsburgh Penguins, starts Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Penguins trail the Boston Bruins 3-0 in the best-of-7 series that determines who represents the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Final.

The odds are extremely long -- three teams in the history of the NHL have done it -- and the work required will be arduous.

It can be done, though. In fact, the Philadelphia Flyers did it to the Bruins three years ago.

Boston has coughed up a 3-0 series lead in the recent past and almost blew a 3-1 lead in the first round this spring against the Toronto Maple Leafs. But the Penguins see little solace in that recent history.

"As far as numbers and odds and everything like that, every year is different," Pittsburgh wing Pascal Dupuis said. "If you ask them, they were up 3-0 a couple years ago, and they lost. So it's numbers, different players, everything is different about this one."

That means Pittsburgh will have to make its own history here in this Eastern Conference Final. If the Penguins do, they will join the hallowed company that has faced sport's longest odds and refused to blink. If they falter, they will start their summer earlier than anticipated.

Here, then, is a five-step plan for Pittsburgh to extend this series to Game 5 on home ice, which can be the team's only goal at this point:

Short term all that's left as Penguins focus on one win

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 6:14 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- The nightmare did not recede when the Pittsburgh Penguins awoke from a too-short and too-haunted slumber at their hotel Thursday morning in the hours after their Game 3 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.

Instead, the image of Patrice Bergeron scoring the winning goal with a nifty redirection in double overtime remained even after the Penguins' eyes fluttered open and their bodies started performing an inventory of the aches and pains absorbed during a four-hour game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

There was no escaping the fate which the Penguins now face. They did lose Game 3 at TD Garden, 2-1, 15:19 into the second overtime, no less, and they are down 3-0 in the best-of-7 series that determines who represents the Eastern Conference in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

As the players rehydrated and refueled throughout Thursday morning, history haunted them constantly. The Penguins did not take the ice Thursday, staying at their hotel in an attempt to rest body and mind for the challenges ahead, starting with Game 4 on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Replacing Campbell no easy task for Bruins

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 5:20 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BOSTON -- The hockey world watched, somewhat stunned, as Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell attempted to finish his penalty killing shift while barely able to stand.

The shock only grew after the 2-1 double overtime win by the Bruins against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final when news filtered out that Campbell had a broken leg, a report the Bruins confirmed to be a fractured fibula Thursday morning.

But the people who know Campbell best weren't shocked in the least.

"That's the kind of player he is," Bruins coach Claude Julien said Thursday. "He's a real dedicated individual to his work and to his game, from off ice, to on ice, to taking care of himself, demeanor, everything else. What he did [Wednesday] surprised a lot of people, but it didn't surprise us because that's just who he is."

The Game 3 victory gave the Bruins a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, with Game 4 Friday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Bruins' challenge now to recuperate, go for sweep

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 3:58 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- It took the Boston Bruins 95 minutes, 19 seconds to get the job done Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Now that they have a 3-0 series lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final, what's their reward?

They get to regroup and try again to beat the East's top seed and the NHL's best offense and power play. Only this time, a Boston victory would result in a second trip to the Stanley Cup Final in three years.

"It's definitely uplifting to win," Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk said Thursday. "It was just, the physical toll, I'm sure it was hard on everybody's body to play five periods; but you've got to do the right thing [Thursday], hydrate and take care of your body, because [Friday] is going to be a battle again."

Hockey world salutes Campbell's grit on Twitter

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 1:39 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

From the moment Gregory Campbell blocked Evgeni Malkin's point shot Wednesday night, it was clear the Boston Bruins forward was in a considerable amount of pain.

With Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins tied 1-1 midway through the second period, Campbell laid on the ice for a few seconds before mustering the strength to get back on his skates and continue killing the remainder of Boston's too-many-men penalty.

It was a courageous play by Campbell, who grimaced and hobbled through the last 45 seconds of his shift before gliding over to the Boston bench, doubled over in pain. After the Bruins won Game 3 in double overtime, 2-1, to take a 3-0 series lead Boston's players dedicated the victory to Campbell and his never-say-die effort. It was revealed Thursday he had completed that shift with a broken leg.

Boston's players weren't the only people in the hockey world who appreciated Campbell's gritty play.

The day after the heroic turn, some players in the Los Angeles Kings locker room were buzzing about the play as they prepared for Game 4 of their Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"It's crazy that you hear about a broken leg after and he finishes his shift," Kings forward Colin Fraser said. "We certainly know about him. It's unfortunate to have an injury like that. He doesn't want to be hurt like that and neither does his team. It's crazy, but he's a hockey player."

A minute of agony for Gregory Campbell

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 1:16 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell broke his fibula diving in front of an Evgeni Malkin slap shot during a Pittsburgh Penguins power play at 12:03 of the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night, a game the Bruins would go to win 2-1 in double overtime.

Nearly a minute later, Campbell finally left the ice under his own power after a heroic effort disrupting the Penguins just enough to prevent it from becoming a two-man advantage.

Here is a breakdown of exactly what Campbell did:

Campbell's toughness reminiscent of Sydor in 2000

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 12:27 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are about desire, determination and sacrifice. Teams can't win the game's greatest trophy without willingly putting themselves in harm's way for the good of the team.

The latest example of such sacrifice was Boston Bruins center Gregory Campbell, who sustained a broken right leg blocking a shot in the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Despite clearly being in pain, Campbell remained on the ice for about a full minute, helping his team kill off the Penguins' power play.

Bruins' Campbell injured, inspires teammates

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 10:43 AM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center Gregory Campbell once scored a 3-on-5 goal. He's scored as many as 13 goals in an NHL season, he's been in many memorable fights and won a bunch of key faceoffs. He has a Stanley Cup ring from the Bruins' championship in 2011.

And if Boston wins its second Eastern Conference title in three years, it might be a blocked shot that Campbell's best known for in Bruins folklore.

Campbell's block of an Evgeni Malkin slap shot a little more than 12 minutes into the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins during a penalty kill ended Campbell's night on the ice and inspired the Bruins to keep pushing despite not playing their best.

The play also ended Campbell's season; the Bruins announced Thursday he sustained a broken right fibula on the play and would miss the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It took 15:19 into double overtime for Patrice Bergeron to score the game-winner in a 2-1 victory. But even after all that time, no one could forget what Campbell did.

"The fact that he took that shot and he couldn't even move and he was still trying to play and get in the lane," said Boston forward Brad Marchand, who assisted on Bergeron's goal. "He did a great job and we really wanted to play for him and it just shows his character. He's always battling. He's always doing whatever he has to do, and he's been huge for us this playoffs so far."

Jagr's urge to win another Cup shines through

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 2:46 AM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- It was a split-second in a game that contained 5,719 seconds of play filled with intense drama.

In a storyline so improbable Hollywood might not believe it, the moment in question -- which came deep in the second overtime, seconds before Patrice Bergeron played the hero again for the Boston Bruins -- involved Jaromir Jagr. Yes, the man who made his legend as a brash, young member of the Pittsburgh Penguins but is now likely on the final lap of his Hall of Fame career, far more gray in his beard and far slower on his skates.

But the desire to win, the desire to take one more drink from the Cup he first hoisted more than two decades ago as a member of the Penguins -- after beating the Bruins along the way both times -- has not flickered in the least with age. It still burns fiercely hot, even if it is more buried in the more mature personality Jagr puts on display these days.

Rask's 53 saves help Bruins take 3-0 series lead

Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 2:30 AM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTONTuukka Rask had more than just the Pittsburgh Penguins to battle in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

Tuukka Rask
Goalie - BOS
RECORD: 11-4
GAA: 1.85 | SVP: 0.940
As the game wore on past 70 minutes of action, the Boston Bruins' goaltender had to battle the thoughts in his head.

Rask beat down enough of those thoughts and stopped enough of those Penguins shots – a career-best 53 – to allow Patrice Bergeron a chance to score the game-winning goal 15:19 in double overtime as the Bruins earned a 2-1 victory and opened up a 3-0 lead in this best-of-7 series.

Game 4 is scheduled for Friday (8 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden.

"I don't think you feel that physical fatigue at that point," Rask said. "It's just trying to keep your head and not thinking that you're tired. It's just a mental challenge. If you think you're tired, you're tired."

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