Bruins-Penguins could get wild, offensively speaking

Brad Marchand has nine points this postseason for Boston. (Getty Images)
Brad Marchand has nine points this postseason for Boston. (Getty Images)

It seems like three months now that we’ve been waiting with much anticipation for the Bruins-Penguins 2013 Eastern Conference Finals series to begin.

It’s a joy to say that the fun finally gets underway Saturday night (8 p.m., NBC) at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh for Game 1. After that, things will get back into the familiar playoff rhythm with Game 2 on Monday (8 p.m., NBCSN) in Pittsburgh before Game 3 (8 p.m., NBCSN) Wednesday and Game 4 next Friday (8 p.m., NBCSN) at TD Garden. Game 6 and 7 would be on back-to-back nights (June 11 and 12).

These teams haven’t met in the postseason since the Wales (now Eastern) Conference Finals in 1992 so it’s been a while, even if Jaromir Jagr (4 assists in this year’s postseason) is still playing – albeit on the other side now. The great footnote to the NHL’s final four in 2013 is that the Kings (2012), Blackhawks (2010), Bruins (2011) and Penguins (2009) are the last four Stanley Cup winners.

 Regular season results certainly don’t mean anything once the playoffs roll around but it’s hard not to mention that the Penguins were 3-0 against the Bruins in 2013. Granted, each game was decided by one goal and two of them were in Pittsburgh. Both teams enter with roughly the same wear and tear: the Penguins went six games with the Islanders in the first round before cruising past Ottawa in five games; the Bruins had to go to overtime in seven games to get past Toronto before they buried the Rangers in five. Pittsburgh’s series with the Senators ended one day before Boston’s with the Rangers so there is seemingly no advantage in terms of rest (or rust).

When you look at the NHL playoff leaders in the most important offensive statistics, they’re dominated by Bruins and Penguins. David Krejci (5 goals, 12 assists) leads in points, Sidney Crosby (7 goals, 8 assists) is tied for the goal-scoring lead with teammate Pascal Dupuis (7 goals, 3 assists) and Chicago’s Patrick Sharp (7 goals, 4 assists), Kris Letang leads in assists (3 goals, 13 assists) and Nathan Horton (5 goals, 7 assists) has the best plus/minus at plus-14. Throw in Evgeni Malkin (4 goals, 12 assists) and Pittsburgh and Boston possess the top five scorers in the postseason which means one can expect a series dominated by offense. That is, unless, Tuukka Rask and/or Pittsburgh’s goaltending duo of Tomas Vokoun and Marc-Andre Fleury were to get hot.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Broncos No. 1, Seahawks slip,…

NFL Power Rankings: Broncos No. 1, Seahawks slip, Eagles, Bills, Patriots climb. The Cardinals, Bills, Chargers and Packers are also featured in the top 10.

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

Parenting

Win tickets to CirKiz's VIP Club event for…

Enter to win a family pack of tickets to CirKiz's launch event on September 21 at VIP Club.

Wellbeing

Suicide study finds surprising link to sunshine

Scientists have found a link between sunlight and suicide rates — but not in the way you’d expect. As summer winds down, concern turns to…

Wellbeing

NYC's doctor-patient ratio is highest of any US…

Seeing a primary care physician is getting more difficult across the country, but new data shows just how bad the problem is — particularly in…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.