BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins are looking to complete the sweep and close out the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
But they know doing so won’t be easy.
“It’s about bringing it tonight. This is about one game,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after Friday’s morning skate at the TD Garden. “It’s nothing more than about one game, what we need to do here. So we try and minimize all the hoopla around everything and keep it to the one game, how we need to play.
“We didn’t play our best game [in Game 3]. They played better, so we need to be a better team tonight.”
While Boston dominated the Penguins in the first two games of the series — in Pittsburgh — they needed double overtime to pull off Wednesday night’s 2-1 victory. The Bruins knew the Penguins would come out strong with their backs against the wall, and are expecting more of the same with Pittsburgh just one loss away from a long, question-filled off-season.
“In Game 3 we found ourselves backing up and waiting to see what they’d do. In the second period it was more of a run and gun hockey game and that’s not our style,” said Tyler Seguin, who is still looking for his first point of the series. “That’s why they beat the Islanders; Pittsburgh is so strong at that game. If we go out there and are going at them on our toes all game, but playing our defensive game, we’ll be more successful.”
The Bruins have done a great job containing Pittsburgh stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, holding the pair scoreless over the first three games. But each have had their chances, especially on Wednesday night, and the Bruins know they’ll have to do an even better job in Game 4.
“[Crosby] might not have any points but he’s all over the place making things happen — Malkin too,” said forward Brad Marchand. “They’re getting their opportunities; we just need to clamp down on them a lot better.”
The Bruins also have a track record of not taking advantage of close-out games. Just this postseason, they’ve squandered a 3-1 series lead against the Maple Leafs in the first round — needing a miraculous third period comeback and eventually overtime to close that series out — and in the second round had a chance to sweep the New York Rangers, but fell in overtime of Game 4 to extend that series.
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