The last time the Boston Bruins held a 3-0 series lead was 2010, and they managed to let that one slip away.
Determined to advance to their second Stanley Cup Finals in three years, the Bruins host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference finals at TD Garden. In 2010, the Bruins lost a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers, but that group was playing defense like this season’s incarnation.
No Bruin did a better job personifying the club’s resiliency and toughness that Gregory Campbell, who finished a play on a broken leg in the Game Three 2-1 double overtime victory.
Campbell is done for the rest of the playoffs, but his grit inspired Patrice Bergeron’s goal in the second overtime. Left wing Chris Kunitz scored Pittsburgh’s second goal of the entire series for a 1-1 tie in the second period.
Boston has completely shut down the typically potent scoring of the Penguins, especially captain Sidney Crosby. The 25-year-old star has been held scoreless in a playoff series for the first time in his career. His one-goal showings in the 2010 seven-game series loss to Montreal in the conference quarters and Detroit in the 2009 Cup Finals were his previous worst performances.
Strangely enough, the last time the Penguins were on the wrong end of a playoff sweep came in 1979 against Boston.
Game Three was Pittsburgh’s best performance of the series, especially goalkeeper Tomas Vokoun, who blocked 38 of Boston’s 40 shots. In Game Two, Vokoun had allowed three goals in the first period and was pulled.
According to the Boston Globe, Kaspars Daugavins should move into Campbell’s spot Friday.
The game begins at 8 p.m. Eastern and will be covered by NBC Sports, and a free online stream of their coverage can be viewed at NBC Live Extra here.
Betting Odds: Boston is favored by 1.5 goals.
Over/Under: 5.5 goals
Prediction: Pittsburgh 3-1