Patrice Bergeron was once again the hero, tipping in a Brad Marchand pass to give the B’s a 2-1 victory in the second overtime and a dominant 3-0 series lead over the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Bergeron scored 15 minutes in to the grind-it-out second extra session, all but crushing the Penguins' hopes of hoisting the Stanley Cup this year.
Both teams seemed spent in the second OT but the first overtime was particularly fierce as Matt Cooke and Milan Lucic got into a heated tussle along the boards following a shot on goal by the Pens to start the extra session. Both received roughing minors.
Nathan Horton had a breakaway off a turnover moments later but Tomas Vokoun made his best save of the series, stuffing Horton’s attempt with his left pad. Horton also hit the post with a would-be game-winner in the extra session.
Chris Kelly was called for tripping eight and a half minutes into OT, setting up a crucial Pittsburgh power play but the Pens only got one shot on goal. Similarly, the B’s couldn’t take advantage of Brooks Orpik being put in the box minutes later for high-sticking Brad Marchand. An Evgeni Malkin delay of game set up another B’s power play with under two minutes to go in the OT but Boston couldn’t punch it in.
The Penguins had outplayed the Bruins throughout regulation, leading in most major categories. They had 39 shots on goal, compared to Boston’s 25. They had 31 hits compared to the Bruins’ 22. Most impressively for Pittsburgh, it led the faceoffs battle 37-19 through three.
Boston had a power play opportunity 12:24 into the third period as Pascal Dupuis was caught for interference on Johnny Boychuk but the suddenly steady Pens easily killed it.
Chris Kunitz finally broke through for Pittsburgh 8:51 into the second, elevating the puck past Rask after assists by Paul Martin and Dupuis. The B’s lone regulation tally came when David Krejci scored on a bank shot just 1:42 into the contest. It was Krejci’s ninth goal of the postseason and Lucic was credited with the assist.
What they'll be saying: The Bruins continue to thrive when the pressure is sky-high. With the way they continue to step up in dramatic situations, there's plenty of reason to now think that there could be a parade in Boston in a couple of weeks.
Wednesday night (err ... Thursday morning) the Bruins got the Penguins best shot and it wasn't good enough. Boston dealt with the whole "up 3-0" deal the last round with the Rangers and it seems like they're ready to close one out (dare, I say?) with a sweep ... finally.