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Penguins vs Bruins

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Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Analysts break down Penguins-Bruins series

Thursday, 05.30.2013 / 4:47 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The Eastern Conference Final features a clash in styles with the up-tempo, high-octane Pittsburgh Penguins going against the physical and aggressive-on-the-forecheck Boston Bruins.

"To me, the two keys in the series are, can Pittsburgh play fast, play with pace, and can Boston force Pittsburgh to defend?" NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk told "Both teams want the puck, and if you have the puck you dictate that."

Getting the puck against the Bruins isn't easy. Just ask the New York Rangers, who probably feel like they're still chasing it days after being eliminated in five games.

Then again, slowing down the Penguins down and forcing them to play defense is like trying to catch a cheetah in the wild. The Ottawa Senators know the feeling -- and they don't like it. Those 13 goals Pittsburgh scored in the final two games of the conference semifinals overwhelmed the Senators.

"[The Penguins'] firepower is so good," NHL Network and TSN analyst Craig Button told "They have so many weapons."

With time to spare before the series begins Saturday in Pittsburgh at 8 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC, RDS), we decided to turn to Olczyk, Button and NBC's inside-the-glass commentator Pierre McGuire for help in breaking it down.

We asked each of them five questions -- and mostly got different answers:

Penguins' Fleury stays positive despite benching

Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 7:12 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- If being benched during the Stanley Cup Playoffs is the toughest period of Marc-Andre Fleury's professional career, he isn't letting it affect his demeanor.

The Pittsburgh Penguins goalie known for his boyish smile and friendly disposition delivered a few dry one-liners during one of his first extended sessions with the media since losing his starting job after Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Asked what he's been working on in practice, Fleury smiled and said, "Stopping the puck."

What's different about not playing as opposed to playing?

"You're a lot less tired when you don't play," Fleury said with a chuckle.

Iginla facing Bruins after tough trade choice

Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 6:38 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

Jarome Iginla
Right Wing - PIT
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 12
SOG: 29 | +/-: 0
PITTSBURGH -- During some whirlwind days in March, as Jarome Iginla came to the realization he would soon be leaving the only NHL home he'd known, he figured it might come down to this.

The Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Eastern Conference Finals. A trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.

"I knew there was a big possibility we'd be in this situation," Iginla said after practicing with the Penguins on Wednesday. "And here we are."

With a no-movement clause in his contract with the Calgary Flames, Iginla had veto power over any trade. In effect, he had the choice of which team he wanted to join when Flames general manager Jay Feaster worked out a trade deals with the Penguins and the Bruins.

Iginla chose Pittsburgh, with one of the reasons being it gave the 35-year-old a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

Bruins need more from Seguin to get past Penguins

Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 5:22 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin seems to have lost his scoring touch.

Two years ago as a rookie, he made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in the Eastern Conference Finals and lit up the Tampa Bay Lightning for three goals and six points in the first two games.

Could the right wing's latest venture into the third round of the postseason bring a similar spark?

"Yeah, it'd be nice," Seguin said after the Bruins practiced Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena. "I'm working hard and I've taken advantage of the rest we've gotten so far. And we're having a few good days of practice here. And I feel we'll be ready to go."

Lucic's improvement has keyed Bruins' run

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins were in the midst of winning 23 of their last 27 regular-season games and riding a five-game winning streak when they arrived in Boston for a game scheduled for April 19.

That contest was postponed a day because of the manhunt for the at-large suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. It was the end of a trying week in the history of the capital city of Massachusetts, and there was a lot more than hockey on people's minds.

However, that weekend was also a turning point for the Boston Bruins and one of their biggest stars. After suffering through a disappointing first several months of the regular season, forward Milan Lucic was scratched for that game against the Penguins, who won, 3-2. It was the first time since he was a rookie in 2007-08 that Lucic had been a healthy scratch.

It was also the moment Lucic realized what he needed to do to get his game on track. As he heads into the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals against the Penguins, Lucic is playing some of his best hockey in a while.

"I definitely think it was a turning point for me, just mentally. [It] kind of got me back to thinking 'What do I need to do to help this hockey club again?'" Lucic said after practice Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena. "Just kind of getting back to how I played as a rookie and playing with that high energy and high emotion. I think that's what’s helped my game get back to the level where it helped this team be better.”

Tale of the Tape: Pens hold upper hand in East final

Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 12:24 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Though all the history and other storylines are intriguing as the Eastern Conference Final approaches, the series will still be decided on the ice.

So it is interesting to note the Pittsburgh Penguins went through the Boston Bruins at this stage in the march to each of their first two Stanley Cup championships. It's fun to talk about Jaromir Jagr making another return to the Steel City, this time as a black hat -- actually a black helmet.

But as Game 1 of this best-of-7 series looms tantalizingly on the horizon, it is important to remember the current editions of the Penguins and Bruins will decide what happens and who advances to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

How do these two teams match up in what should be a heavyweight bout of a series?

We had four staff writers from, who have been covering the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs since Day One, look at several key categories and break down the series to see if we could figure out if either team held an initial advantage. senior managing editor Shawn P. Roarke, managing editor Arpon Basu, senior writer Dan Rosen and writer Corey Masisak weighed in with their opinions.

Here is what we found:

Bruins' Jagr remains part of Penguins' locker room

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Walk down the basement concourse of Consol Energy Center and approach the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room and you'll encounter a large mural that features five of the biggest stars of the franchise's history of almost a half century.

Enter the Penguins dressing room and one of the neatest features -- in addition to the replica stainless steel dome overheard that pays tribute to the old Civic Arena -- is an unofficial "ring of fame" of sorts. About two dozen Penguins icons -- former players, coaches and executives -- circle the room with roughly one above each current player's locker stall.

Bruins resting up for challenge from Penguins

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins had two days to rest and prepare for the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the previous round.

So, fresh off dispatching the Rangers in five games, they're taking advantage of a lull in the schedule prior to taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, which will start later this week.

Bruins coach Claude Julien gave his players a second straight day away from the ice Monday, and even said he and his coaches would get out of TD Garden by the middle of the day to enjoy the Memorial Day holiday with friends and family. Then it'll be back to work.

Penguins not putting stock in regular-season success

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The veteran Pittsburgh Penguins are too wise to let a three-game regular season sweep of the Boston Bruins provide them with any reassurance that the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals will come easy.

"It's the playoffs," wing Pascal Dupuis said. "It's a different game. It's a different animal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs."

As the Penguins prepare to face the Bruins -- the schedule for their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2009 has not yet been released -- they'll study video of their three one-goal victories against Boston during the regular season. But players say the games contested March 12 and March 17 at Consol Energy Center and April 20 at TD Garden have little bearing on what will happen in the next two weeks.

"We'll definitely look at the tapes, see some things we did well and did wrong against them in the first three matchups," Dupuis said. "But everything is different, the players on our team are different from when we met them the first two times. And of course you know that when everything is on the line every shift out there in the playoffs, things aren't the same."

GM says Bruins will be motivated against Penguins

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON – In late March, Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was explaining how and why he lost out in his efforts to acquire Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames.

After it appeared Boston had completed a deal with Calgary for the perennial all-star, Iginla invoked his no-trade clause and instead was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Asked about the Penguins' ability to add Iginla to an already star-studded roster, Chiarelli couldn't help but crack a little wise.

"They're a lock, right?" he quipped.

There are still two more rounds to go in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but so far the Penguins have made Chiarelli's words look prophetic. After securing the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Penguins disposed of the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators in 11 games.

Now it will be up to the Bruins to prove Chiarelli wrong by upending the Penguins' championship drive in the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals. Long after the Iginla affair unfolded, there was still a strong suspicion among people in the game that the Bruins and Penguins would have to settle their differences on the ice.
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