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Penguins vs Bruins

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Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Penguins captain Crosby practices without facemask

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby's playoff beard just got markedly more visible.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain has been given medical clearance to play without the plastic mouth and jaw guard he wore throughout his first 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games this month.

Crosby, who missed the entire month of April in addition to the Penguins' playoff opener because of a broken jaw sustained in a March 30 game against the New York Islanders, practiced Sunday with a regular helmet for the first time since being sidelined by the injury.

To protect his jaw and teeth that were damaged when a puck deflected up into his face March 30, Crosby was required to wear a clear plastic apparatus that extended from his helmet down around the lower part of his face.

"I kind of liked seeing the pictures with him in it," coach Dan Bylsma quipped after practice Sunday. "Those playoff-type of pictures with that on there. But now he can show off his beard a little more."

Penguins vs. Bruins series preview

Shawn P. Roarke and Dan Rosen - Staff Writers


  Seed: 136-12-072 Pts.


  Seed: 428-14-662 Pts.

The Pittsburgh Penguins certainly don't mind meeting the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.

Not only does Pittsburgh have a perfect record against Boston this season -- 3-0-0, outscoring the Bruins 8-5 in three one-goal victories -- but the Penguins have won the past six regular-season meetings between the clubs and have won six straight games in Boston.

Just as attractively, the Penguins have beaten the Bruins the past two times these teams have met at this hurdle, advancing to win the Stanley Cup each time.

The Penguins beat the Bruins in the 1991 Wales Conference Finals on the way to winning the Stanley Cup, then did it again the following year on the way to repeating as champions.

Certainly, Pittsburgh would like to make it a trifecta of Stanley Cup Playoffs semifinal wins and advance to the Final for the first time since winning the tournament in 2009. Boston, however, has other ideas and is looking to get back to the Final for the second time in three years. The Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Penguins meet Bruins in Eastern Conference Final

Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 8:22 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

John Kreiser - Columnist

The Pittsburgh Penguins are hoping history repeats itself.

The Penguins beat the Boston Bruins in the 1991 Wales Conference Final on the way to winning the Stanley Cup, then did it again the following year on the way to repeating as champions.

The teams haven't met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the Penguins completed a four-game sweep in 1992, but a trip to the Final will be on the line again when the Penguins and Bruins face off in the Eastern Conference Final.

Both teams were pushed in the opening round this year -- Pittsburgh survived a six-game test by the New York Islanders and Boston needed a miraculous Game 7 rally to beat Toronto is overtime. But both stormed through the conference semifinals in five games, with the Penguins scoring 22 times while polishing off the Ottawa Senators and the Bruins capping off their ouster of the New York Rangers with a 3-1 victory Saturday night.

Vokoun turns 'tryout' into job as Penguins' No. 1

Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 2:42 PM / Penguins vs Bruins - 2013 Eastern Conference Final

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Even at 36 years old and with 14 seasons of NHL experience, Tomas Vokoun swears he's treating any start he gets like a tryout for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The way Vokoun has been performing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it's become one rather extended tryout. And it's looking more and more as if it might become one that won't end until he and his teammates hoist the Cup.

Vokoun is second in the NHL in save percentage during the playoffs (.941) and he is third among those who have started at least one game in goals-against average (1.85). Those are numbers that prove he belongs as a starter and that he fits in well backstopping the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed as it embarks on the conference finals that begin next week.

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