Friday, June 7, 2013

Two U's, Two K's, Two Rings?

First of all, let's just state the facts. The Boston Bruins went into Pittsburgh and took the first two games of the series from the Penguins. 

The best thing that the B's were hoping for was to earn a split with the Pens in the first two games. For them to go in there and knock off the best team in the Eastern Conference twice? That is impressive. There are probably some folks out there who claimed that they predicted that would happen. Those people are either lying or they are being incredibly naive. 

Anyway, there was still plenty of hockey to be played. The Bruins took that 2-0 series lead back home as they graced the TD Garden ice for game three on Wednesday night. The Penguins were coming into this game with every intention of getting back into this series. They had to do it on road ice just like Boston did to begin the series. 

The unstable goaltender controversy in Pittsburgh could come back to haunt them. Tomas Vokoun was back between the pipes for the Penguins. However, it has been difficult to match the performance of Tuukka Rask and that will be the case going forward regardless of who is in net.

The Bruins have a solid lineup from front to back and they are playing well. They were hoping to end the series before it had a chance to return to Pittsburgh.

In game three, the Penguins dominated at the face-off circle and out-shot the Bruins 39-25 through 60 minutes of regulation play. In double overtime, Patrice Bergeron netted the game winner that resulted from a turnover by the Penguins created by Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand. Rask made 53 saves in the game while Zdeno Chara logged over 40 minutes of ice time.

David Krejci and Chris Kunitz recorded the goals for their respective teams in regulation. Krejci now leads the entire NHL in postseason goals scored with nine. He also leads the NHL in points. 

Gregory Campbell broke his leg blocking a shot while on the penalty kill in this game. He did not return, but he battled through the pain to give the fans an epic shift. The fans appreciated it so much that they started to cheer his name loud and clear. He has been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs. Chris Kelly took his place on the fourth line while Kaspars Daugavins was inserted into the lineup and will be skating on the third line with Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin going forward.

Speaking of which, game four of the series took place on Friday night at the TD Garden. The B's, who held a 3-0 series lead heading into Friday, were looking for the sweep. 

They did it.

The only goal of the game came from a slap shot by Adam McQuaid, a goal that deflected off the stick of Jarome Iginla. How about that for some irony? Rask made 26 saves in the final game of this series. They will now advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Sidney Crosby did not record a single point in the series.

Sometimes you take the ice to make a statement. In this case, this was a big time statement win in the series for the Bruins. 

Now we await the winner of the Western Conference Finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings. 

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