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
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…