Bruins defeat Penguins to take 3-0 series lead, Gregory Campbell suffers a broken leg, Duncan Keith suspended for one game, NHL to consider reducing the size of goalie equipment, and much more.
BOSTON GLOBE/TRIBLIVE.COM: Patrice Bergeron scored in double overtime and Tuukka Rask made 53 saves as the Boston Bruins edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 to take a 3-0 stranglehold on the series, with a chance to wrap things up on Friday night. A big reason for the Penguins dropping three straight in this series is their lackluster power-play, failing to score with the man-advantage in any of the games in this series. That’s due largely to the Bruins penalty kill, which suffered a serious loss when Gregory Campbell reportedly suffered a broken leg blocking an Evgeni Malkin shot, but continued to play the PK until the puck was cleared from the Bruins zone before hobbling off the ice.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins once again did a tremendous job shutting down the Penguins offense, but the Pens didn’t do themselves any favors. They’ve played mainly on the periphery in the Bruins zone, failing to generate much traffic in front of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. Losing Campbell is a big blow to the Bruins PK. That shift he played on a broken leg was impressive and instantly became part of Bruins lore.
Penguins fans may be tempted to console themselves by remembering the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers three years ago, but these Penguins aren’t those Flyers, and these Bruins are a better team than the 2010 version. In my opinion, this series is over. I’ve seen nothing from the Penguins to suggest they can overcome the checking blanket thrown over their offense by the Bruins.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: LA Kings forward Jeff Carter is none the worse for wear, apart from a line of stitches on his chin, from a high stick taken in the face from Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, who was suspended for Game Four tonight. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, need more from Patrick Kane, who has yet to make his presence felt offensively in this series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect Carter’s performance to be adversely affected by his facial injury. The Kings have a golden opportunity to tie this series tonight with Keith suspended and Kane struggling to score.
NHL.COM: Former LA Kings superstar Luc Robitaille will be inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame this Sunday.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The recent decline in goal scoring has the NHL again considering reducing the size of goaltender equipment.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault could be the right fit as the NY Rangers new head coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’d be a better candidate than an inexperienced Mark Messier.
DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed enforcer Patrick Bordeleau to a multi-year contract. Terms were not released.
PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers have hired former Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki to scout European goaltending.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators have hired former Predator Scott Nichol their director of player personnel.
CSNBAYAREA: The HP Pavilion will be known starting next season as the SAP Center.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL fans will continue to call it “The Shark Tank”.