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Penguins clinch top seed with win against Bruins

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Jarome Iginla disappointed Boston again.

One month after choosing a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins over one to the Boston Bruins, Iginla made sure his first game against the Bruins since leaving Calgary was a victorious one for his new team Saturday afternoon.

Iginla's power-play goal 4:43 into the third period put the Penguins ahead to stay in a 3-2 win against the Bruins at TD Garden.

"It was an emotional game. They came out fired up and played very hard," Iginla said. "It took us a while to match that intensity. But [goaltender Tomas Vokoun] played great, gave us a chance to get going, and as it went on I thought we got better as a team. It was nice, I thought, in the third [period] there to be able to get some power-play goals because they were playing it pretty tight."

The game was played Saturday after it was postponed Friday due to the manhunt for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Pittsburgh, which has won its past six visits to TD Garden and six in a row overall, clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins again played without injured Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Paul Martin, who have missed varying amounts of time in the past month.

But Pittsburgh locked up first place with four games remaining.

"For whatever reason, we just kept pushing through, kept finding ways to win," defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "It's a little unique, I guess. The 82-game season, it seemed like the last couple of years it always came down to the last day. It's definitely a little bit different for us."

Late last month, the Calgary Flames made a deal with the Bruins to send Iginla to Boston, but Iginla invoked his no-trade clause and the Flames then made a deal with the Penguins. Iginla made the Bruins regret how things went down even more when he released a slap shot from the blue line that eluded Tuukka Rask through the five-hole early in the third period. Brad Marchand had just been called for roughing after he tried to get Jussi Jokinen to fight.

Boston fans booed Iginla every time he touched the puck.

"No, I wasn't surprised," he said. "It's a great sports city, and at the time I was very humbled that I had an opportunity to go to both teams, both teams were interested in me. I made the choice to come to [Pittsburgh], I'm thrilled with that. But I have a lot respect for the city here, I hear great things from the guys that play here, I have some friends on that team. I hear great things from the city, the organization.

"I expected that (the booing), and it's not too bad when it's on the road. When it's on the road, you can live with that. At home, when you're getting booed like that, it's hard to take."

Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang scored a power-play goal at 8:29 of the third period to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead. Vokoun stopped 38 shots.

Marchand and Tyler Seguin scored for Boston, which has lost four in a row (0-3-1).

"I didn't think we played a bad game. We scored some goals today, I think everybody's walking out of here pretty happy with the effort and the commitment that was put into this game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "But when you don't score goals, it tarnishes a lot of things, and that's the unfortunate part.

"I thought we came in with a lot of emotion, we were physical, we had lots of chances, I thought we played a pretty good game. But at the end of the day, you end up with a loss. And unfortunately you look at the amount of chances you had and then the shots, and then you didn't score enough. This is where we need to get better."

Boston outshot (13-5) and outscored (1-0) Pittsburgh in the first period, but it didn't take long for the Penguins to tie the game in the second. Jokinen won a battle in front of the Bruins net and roofed a backhand shot from the slot while falling down at 5:10.

The Bruins were greeted by another touching tribute to the victims and heroes of the Boston Marathon bombings from Monday, similar to the one prior to Boston's game against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. The teams took the ice with the lights dimmed for the second straight game, then watched a music video highlighting the capture of the suspect Friday. The video was similar to the one shown before Wednesday's game, only with the triumphant ending of the manhunt drawing a raucous cheer from the crowd.

The Bruins rode the emotion again to an early goal. Marchand skated from his end, eluded Letang at the left dot then beat Vokoun with a snap shot between the torso and arm, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 10:18.

"We felt the same way as last game with the ceremony and again with all the police and firemen and everything in the building," Marchand said. "It was a special time again, and we definitely built a lot of momentum off of that. We came out very hard, had a great start, and again, we carried that through pretty much the whole game. We just again didn't get the results."

The intense first period cost the Bruins one of their best players, however, when Nathan Horton left the game with 2:04 remaining with an injury after a fight with Iginla. Horton didn't return.

Seguin scored with three seconds left in the game to make it 3-2.

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