Bruins: Three keys to victory over Penguins

One of the Bruins only advantages over the Penguins, on paper, may be in goal as Tuukka Rask has been rock solid for Boston this postseason. (Getty Images)
One of the Bruins only advantages over the Penguins, on paper, may be in goal as Tuukka Rask has been rock solid for Boston this postseason. (Getty Images)

With home ice on their side and an All-Star lineup, the Penguins are the undisputed favorite to win the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Bruins. Still, Boston will not be an easy out by any means and if they are solid in a few key areas, they could certainly pull off the upset and beat Pittsburgh to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in three seasons. Most expect a great series between the two best teams in the East who will both have a week of rest before Game 1 at CONSOL Energy Center – reportedly on Saturday night – finally begins.

1. Slackers delight: Tyler Seguin’s (1 goal, 3 assists, minus-2) struggles this postseason have been well documented but his less talented linemates, Chris Kelly (0 goals, 0 assists, minus-6) and Rich Peverley (1 goal, 0 assists, minus 4), have been equally as inept offensively. To beat a team that is just as deep, the Bruins will need contributions from all four lines to get past the Penguins. Boston’s fourth line was superb against the Rangers in the semifinals but Pittsburgh has a similar amount of talent there and a wash is likely. That means that the third line for the B’s will need to step up since Boston’s top two lines are sure to have their hands full with Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, James Neal, Evgeni Malkin and Jarome Iginla

2. Accentuate the positives: It is often said that the Bruins are the best five-on-five team in the NHL and they’ll need to play to that strength against the Penguins. Boston simply cannot afford to take stupid penalties (think David Krejci in Game 5 vs. Rangers) against Pittsburgh. The Penguins have the best power play in the postseason (13 for 46, 28.3 percent) which is one of the main reasons why they also lead the playoffs in goal-scoring (4.27 per game).

3. That’s the goal,  here: The only area that one can point to with certainty as an advantage for the Bruins is in goal. Tuukka Rask (8-4, 2.22 GAA, .928 save percentage) has been Boston’s No. 1 goaltender all season, as opposed to Tomas Vokoun (6-1, 1.85 GAA, .941 save percentage) who was supposed to be Pittsburgh’s backup goaltender but was thrust into the spotlight after Marc-Andre Fleury couldn’t get the job done against the Islanders in the first round. Vokoun’s numbers in a smaller sample size are better than Rask’s but if you’ve seen Penguins games, you know that he’s been shaky and can be beaten if the Bruins get traffic in front of him and crash the net – two things they did with force against New York’s Henrik Lundqvist.

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



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Local

Katz's Deli wins name battle with Florida cafe

The New York City delicatessen Katz's has won a legal battle to force a Florida restaurant to change its name, according to court documents made public on Monday.

Local

Rethinking the NYC subway map and mass transit…

Max Roberts has never ridden New York City's subway — but he's thought about system's twists and turns more than most daily riders. A 47-year-old…

National

U.S. coastal flooding on the rise, government study…

By Ryan McNeill(Reuters) - Flooding is increasing in frequency along much of the U.S. coast, and the rate of increase is accelerating along the Gulf…

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

Entertainment

'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood' game easter eggs and cheats

"Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the hottest game of the moment. Here are its best easter eggs as well as some tips and tricks to speed your way to the top.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Food

Zagat releases '30 Under 30' list

Zagat releases a list of the people changing the food and drink industry across the country.

Wellbeing

Fist bump gets respect as clean alternative to…

Though long used to give props, the fist bump is getting some actual respect. The gesture, once dubbed a “terrorist fist jab,” could become the new…

Wellbeing

Fist bump gets respect as clean alternative to…

Though long used to give props, the fist bump is getting some actual respect. The gesture, once dubbed a “terrorist fist jab,” could become the new…

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…