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PENGUINS at BRUINS
(Boston leads best-of-7 series 3-0)
TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Big story: The Boston Bruins are one victory from sweeping the Eastern Conference Final and advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, and a chance to regain the championship they won in 2011. The top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins are hoping to become the fourth team in NHL history to win a best-of-7 series after losing the first three games.
Penguins: To send the series back to Pittsburgh, the Penguins have to think small. They can't worry about the enormity of having to win four games in a row against a team that has beaten them three straight times; they have to think about winning one shift at a time, one period at a time, and taking the series to a fifth game in front of their home fans.
"Looking at the situation, down 0-3, you can look at the odds, the history, it's not a very encouraging picture," coach Dan Bylsma said Thursday. "We don't have to win four games against the Boston Bruins. We have to win one game [Friday] night to get this thing back to the 'Burgh. That's what we have to look at."
To do that, the Penguins will have to get some scoring from their big guns. Neither Sidney Crosby nor Evgeni Malkin has recorded a point in this series. That has to change for the series to continue.
"What's at stake for our future is a chance to play Game 5," Bylsma said. "Tomorrow is an elimination game for our team. We have one game. We have 60 minutes. Win one game and move on to the next day."
Bruins: Though Boston is one victory from playing for the Cup, the Bruins know they'll have to be a lot better than they were in Game 3. Patrice Bergeron's goal at 15:19 of the second overtime gave Boston the win, but Pittsburgh carried the play for much of the night and pelted Tuukka Rask with 54 shots (and attempted 101, the most of any team in any game this season). The Bruins were clearly better than the Penguins in Games 1 and 2, but not so in Game 3.
"We've got to play a better game," coach Claude Julien said. "We might have won the game, but we're certainly not pleased with the way we played. We know they played better, but I don't think we did, and we've got to make sure we're at the top of our game [Friday]."
The Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead and lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, so they're not about to count out a team that finished first in the Eastern Conference.
"It's not over until you close that fourth [win] out," defenseman Johnny Boychuk said. "At any point, the series can switch."
Who's hot: Rask has allowed two goals on 101 shots in the first three games. Bergeron has two overtime goals this postseason, the third Bruins player to score multiple OT winners in one playoff season.
Injury report: Pittsburgh reports no injuries. … Boston will be without fourth-line forward and penalty-killer Gregory Campbell, who suffered a broken fibula blocking a shot in the second period of Game 3.