Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Boston Bruins shoot for the sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals. The Bruins are -124 favorites over the Penguins with an over/under goal total set at 5.5.
The Bruins have taken a 3-0 series lead over Pittsburgh thanks to a 2-1, double overtime victory in game three. Patrice Bergeron deflected a shot/pass from Brad Marchand with 4:41 left in the second extra session. The Bruins received a goal from David Krejci and Tuuka Rask stopped an amazing 53 shots to pick up the win. The Bruins are now in the driver’s seat with a huge series lead and have a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win at TD Garden on Friday. If so, Boston will move to the finals for the second time in three years when they hoisted the cup two years ago. Boston also swept the Penguins in 1979 but are sure to get the Penguins best shot Friday.
Pittsburgh had plenty of shots in game number three but obviously not enough goals which is always the bottom line. Chris Kunitz was the only Penguin to get the puck past Rusk in the second period as the Pens put 54 shots on the Boston net minder. Tomas Vokoun absorbed the defeat despite making 38 stops which was a marked improvement over game three. Vokoun didn’t last long in a 6-1 loss to the Bruins when he was yanked after allowing three goals on just 12 shots. However, it didn’t matter because the Pittsburgh offense is obviously not scoring goals which leaves Vokoun and the rest of the Pens defense with virtually no room for error. He did keep his team alive when he stopped Nathan Horton on a breakaway in OT and escaped when the crossbar saved him when Horton missed out again.
Horton missed out on a pair of golden opportunities that would have made this a different series. I don’t really think the trends matter all that much at this point because it’s do or die time for Pittsburgh. I’m sure the Penguins want to avoid the distinction of getting swept, but I’m also sure the Bruins don’t want this series going any further because anything can happen. I’m leaning on the Bruins to close this out if they can survive the Pens in the opening frame.
Boston Bruins -124 Pittsburgh Penguins