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Playoffs Tonight: Penguins must make history to survive

Jun 7, 2013, 8:04 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates with the puck against the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(June 4, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to defeat the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and consequently take a 3-1 series lead. The Conference finals could finish on Saturday, but that depends on the outcome of tonight’s game.

Boston Bruins host Pittsburgh Penguins (8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra)
Boston leads 3-0

Boston jumped ahead to 3-1 and 3-0 leads in their previous two series. In the first round, they just barely managed to advance despite the early series edge they built for themselves, but the second round had a far less dramatic conclusion for the Bruins.

Of course, people won’t soon forgot when the Boston Bruins coughed up a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 — but a lot has happened since then. While that incident might provide them with perspective, they’ve shown time and again that they are capable of closing a series.

“The one thing we do know is we’ve got to play a better game than we did (Wednesday),” Julien said, according to the Boston Globe. “We might have won the game, but we’re certainly not pleased with the way we played.

“We know they played better but I don’t think we did, and we’ve got to make sure we’re at the top of our game tomorrow.”

The Penguins did play better in Game 3, even if they didn’t set the bar terribly high with their showing in the first two games of this series. They battled the Bruins for 95 minutes, but weren’t rewarded.

“By no means are we going to break down and give up. The percentages are against us, but we have a good team,” Pittsburgh’s Brandon Sutter told the Penguins’ official website. “We’re taking this day-by-day right now.”

Taking it one game at a time is the key for the Penguins. That strategy is so heavily preached that it’s long since become a cliche, but it’s all the Penguins got. They’ve put themselves in a position where they have to make history to survive.

It’s a long shot, but given how much talent the Penguins have, it’s hard to dismiss the possibility.

 

  1. tripps3 - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    I have no skin in this game (Hawks fan) but I gotta think Pittsburgh is gonna play very desperate and win

    • bakedbees - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      …and with that logic the Kings should take the next two for sure.

  2. patthehockeyfan - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    With a bow to 2010, I think the Pens have the Bruins exactly where they want them :)

    Okay, okay, okay! Before I get seven hundred thumbs downs, I’m kidding!!

    • bruins18 - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      Krejcis not hurt like 2010…. That is all

  3. pens87 - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    I certainly would be nice to get the win tonight. I agree with tripps that I think we are going to come out hard and desperate (like last game), but Boston is definitely not just going to sit back and let them get any momentum going. Obviously I hope my pens send it back to Pittsburgh, but if it does end tonight I hope it they play as hard and the game is at least as good as the last one. Friday night, so I would not mind sitting at the bar and watching a few periods of desperation overtime hockey. Best of luck to both squads…make it one hell of a game!

    • tescosuicide - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      whoa… a rational Penguins fan?

      • laxman1944 - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        It is good to know they are out there.

  4. season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    I think the Pens did a good job of matching up to or outplaying the 5 skaters on the ice at any point (outside of a few times in the game) last game. But they have to figure out how to beat Rask.

    • sgtr0c - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      They would have won if they outplayed the Bruins. They did not. The game is scored by goals, not by good play.

      • pastabelly - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        The Penguins did outplay the Bruins by a decent margin in the first three periods of regulation. The Bruins won because they have the better goalie. The Bruins can play much better than that and may need to tonight. They need to do a better job of getting the puck out of their own end as they have done the last eight games.

      • sgtr0c - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Pens are losing this series, does not/will not matter who they out played or if it was only a goalie that was hot (which is not the only reason they are losing this series). The Pens are just not the best team this season. Deal with it

      • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Yes, and if you have a goalTENDER that is playing on his head, that tips the ice away from you. If the Pens play the same game they did last game and Rask is only 95% as good as he was in the last game, the Pens are winning this. That’s actually what I said, the argument that you are trying to provoke is nonsense.

        You disagree? I don’t believe there’s any logical way too, Captain Kirk.

      • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        The only reasonable answer to your posts is “bite me, maggot” because there’s nothing even the slightest bit intelligent to respond to. You’d probably understand that better anyway.

      • sgtr0c - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        Just checked. The box score still says Bruins 2-1 over the pens. Does not say anything about 95% or outplaying. For the series, it says 3-0 Boston.

    • grilledjesus - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      You mean except for in OT, when it really counted.

      • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        No, OT too. Rask stole the OT also, especially right before Boston scored. That was actually when Rask was at his best, because the D was beginning to break down.

      • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        I’m actually truly surprised at how little respect Rask has been getting from B’s fans!

    • corpsethree - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      With a stick, while he slept… but on the ice… I’m not sure it’s possible

      • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        So……clearly a Bruins fan, right? And….you’ve never heard of Rask collapsing sometimes in the not too distant past???? It’s happened…and that’s all I have to root for.

    • tescosuicide - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Boston NO DOUBT got their last cup via Thomas, but in this series they’ve been pretty impressive. I think the problem with the Penguins started when they decided to grab every available captain in the league trying to make a “dream team”… Boston has been pretty tight (for the most part) over the past few years. They know each others play quite well and works for them. You can see it in the Penguins’ game at times but I think trying to trying to force Iginla and Morrow into an already massive team is hurting them. Flower’s not helping much either.

  5. heyzeus143 - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Believe in the ‘burgh

  6. therealdave123 - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    People need to stop bringing up 2010. A lot has happened since then and the B’s have closed out numerous series since then, they won the cup in 2011 for god sakes! Boston closes out Pittsburgh tonight.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      It’s going to be brought up every time the bruins are up 3-0 for the next few years, they won a cup the following year, sweeping the flyers in the process…while I’m sure none of the bruins players are all too thrilled about it having happened, I don’t think they’re all too sensitive about it either and neither should you be

  7. amityvillefun - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey…goodbye.

    • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      That’s actually one of your more intelligent posts.

  8. yougotgirouxed - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    I want the Pens to win tonight. Even considering how much I love watching the Pens get destroyed it would a lot more fun to watch the S**tsburgh fans reaction when the Bruins take the series at Consol.

    • pens5829 - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Rainy day in Filthy and you can’t golf today? Loser.

      • isithockeyseasonyet - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        You need to come up with something better than filthy

      • laxman1944 - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Sure we can……..just play winter rules.

      • fbothharbaughs - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        Is there something to more aptly describe the city of brothers & guns than “filthy”?

        Methinksnot…

  9. madmax80 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Let’s put 2010 in perspective. Yes, the B’s blew a 3-0 game lead – but look a little deeper than that. Krejci was lost to a broken wrist early in Game 4. The Flyers were missing Gagne for the first 3 games. So, at the beginging of game 4 you has the Flyers getting one of their best players back and the B’s losing one of their best players. So, that’s some pretty significant context that never seems to get mentioned.

    Also, I don’t think it’s too big of a stretch to say that Rask is a much better, more mature goalie than he was 3 years ago.

    That being said, this is still a Penguins team that won 15 in a row with 2 of those 15 being against the B’s.

    So, it is over? No. Of course not.

    Is this a different B’s team than 2010? Without a doubt.

    It’s a massive hill to climb for the Penguins, but the B’s better finish it tonight. If not, they could pretty quickly find themselves in a ‘must win’ Game 6 with the pressure on them to avoid a Game 7.

    • rogersjd16 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      And not that it matters one iota since it was 3 years ago, and that whole 2011 thing happened…but Seidenberg was hurt for that Flyers series too.

      • pastabelly - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        This is a much better Bruins team than the one that lost to the Flyers in 2010. That team had guys like Steve Begin, Trent Whitfield, Wideman, Sobotka, and Hunwick getting serious minutes. If I’m not mistaken, that team was so banged up that they even coaxed Satan out of retirement.

        This Bruins team reminds me more of the 2011 team than the 2010 team. Jury is still out on Tuukka being able to do what Thomas did and Jagr is not as good as Recchi was. Each year is a new year though. If the Penguins do come back and win this series against this 2013 Bruins team, it would be far more impressive than the Flyers beating that undermanned and undertalented 2010 team.

    • nosefacekillah - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      Is it not more valid to bring up the 2012 playoffs where Pit lost 5-1 in game 6 against a much weaker Flyer team? When a series gets physical and the Pens feel disrespected they have shown themselves to be easy to distract. Based on last year I expect a blow out for Boston tonight. Pitt is just to weak emotionally to compete with this adversity.

      • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Is it not more relevant to remember round 1 of the current year playoffs where the Bruins let the leafs get back into it???

      • nosefacekillah - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        They won the series. Lets remember the resilience of the Bruins in a tough situation!

  10. thesportsjudge - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    So what is with the misleading title of having to make history to win 1 game tonight?

    I really like most of the fan commenting on this site but clearly, NBC is trying to stir the pot and is also firmly entrenched standing behind the Penguins which is disappointing ONLY in the fact they are not being objective.

    • 8man - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      Thought the very same thing. So much hype. All the Pens have to do is win tonight. If there is a game Sunday, we’ll talk about it then.

    • billbadguy - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      What a joke, they just need to win tonight to survive.

    • season20122013 - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      There are writers on this site that absolutely denounce the Pens every chance they get. Seems to me, this entire series, if someone says “Boston has a good team” then 1000 Boston fans get all hurt because they didn’t say “Boston has a GREAT team”…sheeze…at some point stop the waterworks, crybabies!

  11. amityvillefun - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    No love for the Bruins Sportsjudge. Sid the Kid is the poster boy and Marchand is the villain. The commentary is all pro Penguins. The press is pro Penguins.

    The best team on paper is just that….paper! Paper tigers, that is.

    Go Bruins and I’m glad we got Jagr over Iginla. Nice assist last game Jaromir!

    • thesportsjudge - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      I don’t want this site to fawn over the B’s one bit. I don’t want them to do that for ANY team. I just want them to be neutral, but obviously since NBC and the NHL are partners, NBC is willing to do whatever the NHL says. Truly a shame that a giant media outlet has zero integrity.

      • grilledjesus - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        Have you not seen the medias treatment of Obama for the past 6 years? Integrity left the building a LONG time ago.

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        @grilledjesus. PLEASE leave politics off these boards.

    • pastabelly - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      As a Bruins fan, I’d rather have Iginla. There’s a very good reason that Chiarelli went hard after Iginla and Jagr was the second choice. Iginla’s sytle is actually a better fit in Boston. If Horton leaves, I still wouldn’t mind seeing Peter C making another run at Iginla. I suppose I can also see Iginla going back to Calgary.

      • grilledjesus - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        If JI is looking to win a cup, going back to Calgary is a bad move.

      • spitfisher - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        Hell, if Horton isn’t signed, they should sign Malkin, due to the salary cap he is as good as gone next year with the birds. their credit card is maxed out

  12. ibieiniid - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    http://oi43.tinypic.com/2qlr9tl.jpg

    threw this together this AM with MS Paint lol. bruins fans use freely.

    • kmacle - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      I sent a few copies out. Thanks for sharing.

  13. dboldave - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    I know that you can’t wipe away history but I hate that the few times the Bruins have gone up 3-0 in a playoff series after the 2010 season, the Flyers series gets brought up immediately. A good chunk of that team is not playing with the Bruins now. Seidenberg was out, Krejci got hurt, Lucic was a shell of his former self that season, Savard was playing and had the game winner in game 1 but as we look back now, he wasn’t and would never be the same player he was before. That team had lots of holes and wasn’t built like the team on the ice now.

    With that being said, if I’m the Bruins, I don’t want to give Pittsburgh any momentum and you go balls out and close this out tonight!

  14. rahavort - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    The Penguins showed how good their team really is when their offense is in rhythm, and as a result that was one hell of a game the other night. Hats off to both teams with how much effort they are showing and have shown. I am not a fan of the Penguins one bit, but I know where credit is due. That being said I think it is going to be another difficult game tonight and will no question be on the edge of my seat the whole game. Go B’s!!

  15. dropthepuckeh - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    It looks like Daugavins skating on 3rd line with Peverly and Seguin and Kelly centering Thornton and Paille on the 4th. Normally I would guess that Pitt plays some desperate hockey and gets a win tonight but with the way this series has gone I think there is a strong possibility the Bruins finish it off. They seem to have turned a corner and everyone is buying in and playing hard. I think they will also use the Campbell injury and courage that he showed as an additional motivator to win this series tonight.

    Handshakes tonight boys. Should be fun to see Iginla go through that line…..

    • madmax80 - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Handshakes tonight boys. Should be fun to see Iginla go through that line…..

      ————————————————

      Not going to happen. Not cuz the B’s wont win, but cuz NBC Sports Network will cut off the handshakes to show Cycling.

      • dropthepuckeh - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        I’ll take a video on my phone and post it when I get home;)

  16. capsrockva - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Go Bruins for the remaining games in this round only

  17. stoopidfool - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    cold hard fact…….doesn’t matter how hard the penguins have tried, after 3 games, their offense is not going t magically show up ….. if the bruins were going to lose in this series, they would have lost wed night

    the bruins have played the penguins for 17 periods this year and have been shut out for 13 of them….it’s not like the pens offense has a recent history of success against the B’s

    the pens will play hard tonight, and they will lose…….it’s just been a really bad series for them match-up wise and simply caught the bruins at the worst possible time

  18. davidmessina63 - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I’m hoping for a RASKicking tonight. Go B’s!

  19. joewilliesshnoz - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    The Bruins have been known to choke, before.

  20. gingerkid2000 - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Are Pens fans always this whiney or is it just when they’re 0-3? Keep bringing up the Bruins 2010 collapse then google how many times that’s happened in the NHL playoffs, subtract that by 1000 and that’s the percentage of a chance of that happening to the same team. Bruins are playing Rope-A-Dope hockey by letting the Pens waste their energy on trying to hit anything that moves, and proving the B’s are the tougher team because they know how take a hit.

    • lp0320 - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      gingerkid2000 – are you always this douchey???? Not all of the posters bringing up the collapse are Pens fans.

  21. kmacle - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    No predictions, but I’m hoping it closes out tonight. I think letting Pitt climb back into this would be playing with fire.

  22. lp0320 - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    The Pens have to come out and play solid desperation hockey. There is no tomorrow for them unless they win. For all of the Bruins fans and Pens haters out there, a loss tonight is possible for the Pens, but don’t count them out because anything can happen. It’s an uphill battle for sure, but on any given night . . . . . who knows? I’m rooting for my Pens and hope they find a way to put the puck in the net.

    As for the Boston team, if you win, you win because you were the better team and good luck the rest of the way. If the Pens win, it’s the first step in trying to claw their way back into it. Either way, I hope we see the same kind of great hockey we saw Wednesday night.

    • spitfisher - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      The pens remind me of the rangers years ago, sign all the superstars and have a bunch of individual players with no leadership or team cohesion during playoffs.

      The bruins have no superstars, just a tough gritty bunch of guys, ok one could argue Chara is, or Bergeron but lets face it those two are defensive specialists first. The remaining players are very good players without egos or high price tags and contribute greatly to a team concept because they all playing D. Its team effort

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