It's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins. Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the odds for the game have the Bruins as a slight favorite to win.
The Penguins are in a massive hole after dropping both games at home to the Bruins. Boston just took care of business in each of those two games in Pittsburgh and Sidney Crosby has proven to be ineffective to this point.
Pittsburgh led the NHL in scoring during the regular season and up to this point has scored quite a bit in the playoffs. They averaged 4.27 goals per game in the first two rounds of the playoffs and then scored 13 goals in the last two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals. But since then they've got just two goals in the opening two games of the conference finals. Could they really get swept in a four-game series by their rivals from Boston? Tonight's game is going to tell the outcome of this series. If the Penguins can grind out a win on the road they're going to have a chance. But if Boston comes out and punches them in the mouth yet again the Penguins are probably done.
And it's not like the Bruins are just getting cheap goals — they're very efficient and playing at a high level. Boston's David Krejci has been tough to stop in this post season. He's got eight goals to this point in the playoffs and has three tallies in the opening two games of this series. James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and Crosby were among the NHL's top 17 in goals per game this season, but to this point have all been shut down.
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask has been playing very well — he's stopped 55 of 56 shots so far this series. He's helped get the Bruins to this point in the series and if he continues to play at a very high level, the Bruins could win the ultimate prize in hockey.
Pittsburgh can't seem to figure out which goalie they are going to go with. Tomas Vokoun or Marc-Andre Fleury is going to start this game tonight but the Penguins haven't gotten good play from either of them in this series. Overall, the Bruins have won seven of their last eight games with a 30-15 scoring advantage, so the Penguins goal keepers are going to continue to have their work cut out for them.
But look for the Penguins to come out with their backs against the wall and playing like it. They were one of the best teams in the regular season and now have seemingly met their match to this point. Look for the Penguins to finally start scoring tonight. We like them to get a gritty road win.
Free Pick: Penguins 3, Bruins 2
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