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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NHL Playoff Preview: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins


Game 1 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals takes place tonight and we will see the Boston Bruins take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 PM (Eastern) start time and will be televised on NBC. Current Betting Odds, according to, have Pittsburgh listed as the favorite.

Current Odds

Boston        +160
Pittsburgh    -180

Over/ Under: 5.5 U -125

Analysis:  Boston defeated a pair of Original Six rivals to advance to the conference final. The Bruins nearly squandered a 3-1 series lead in the first round before rallying past fifth-seeded Toronto. They had considerably less difficulty with the sixth-seeded New York Rangers, eliminating them in five.  While hardly considered chopped liver, Jaromir Jagr was the "consolation prize" for the Bruins at the trade deadline - but the former Penguin has yet to score a goal in 12 postseason games. Boston has been bolstered by the offensive contributions from its defensemen - notably rookie Torey Krug, who has scored three of his four goals on the power play. Fellow blue-liner Johnny Boychuk also has four tallies - not a shabby accomplishment considering he had just one in 44 games during the regular season. David Krejci leads the league with 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) and is a plus-9.

Jarome Iginla carefully weighed his options before accepting a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins over two months ago. In doing so, the veteran spurned the advances of several teams - notably the fourth-seeded Boston Bruins.  With four goals and eight assists, the veteran did his part in helping Pittsburgh eliminate the eighth-seeded New York Islanders in six games before ousting seventh-seeded Ottawa in five. Offense hasn't been the issue in the Steel City, as the Penguins have scored 46 goals - including 13 in their last two contests. Norris Trophy finalist Kris Letang has an NHL-best 13 assists, leads all defensemen with 16 points and shares the team lead in that category with reigning Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin. Captain Sidney Crosby has matched teammate Pascal Dupuis and Chicago's Patrick Sharp with a league-leading seven tallies and former 40-goal scorer James Neal has scored five times in his last two games. The Penguins posted a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on March 12 and a 2-1 triumph five days later. They also recorded a 3-2 decision on April 20 - one day after the scheduled contest was postponed as authorities conducted a manhunt for one of the suspects involved in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Pick: I am going with Pittsburgh on the Puck Line (+170) in this one. Just too much offense for Pittsburgh, especially at home. You also might look to the over here as I expect a 4-2 or 5-2 type final.   

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