After long layoffs Penguins and Bruins ready to roll | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaAfter long layoffs Penguins and Bruins ready to roll

Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2013 | 01:50 PM

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The Boston Bruins pin their hopes on keeping Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby under control as the East final gets underway Saturday night. (Associated Press) The Boston Bruins pin their hopes on keeping Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby under control as the East final gets underway Saturday night. (Associated Press)

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Three storylines for the series opener of the East final between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET).

PITTSBURGH -- Three storylines for the series opener of the East final between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET).

Game 2 is back at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center on Monday.

1. Can Bruins dependable centre Patrice Bergeron stop Penguins captain Sidney Crosby?

When you're up against Pittsburgh you need to shut down more than Crosby. There is too much talent on the Penguins. But keeping Crosby in check certainly is a good start. Bergeron is the reigning Selke Trophy winner as the NHL's top defensive forward and has been named a finalist for this year's Selke. He is among faceoff leaders in the playoffs with a 63.5 win percentage.

Bergeron has a familiarity factor with Crosby. The two became friends at the 2005 world junior and won gold. They also were teammates at the 2006 world championship and won gold together with Canada at the 2010 Olympics.

2. Who will benefit the most from the week layoff?

The Penguins haven't played in eight days. The Bruins have enjoyed a seven-day layoff. Does this give either team an edge? Not likely. Both teams had some injuries to heal. Crosby's broken jaw has mended enough that he no longer has to wear protection on the lower part of his face.

The Bruins have talked a lot about how they had an 11-day break between series in 2009 and then found themselves down 3-1 in the second round to the Carolina Hurricanes before losing in seven games. They learned dealing with a layoff is about having a good mindset.

There also is the possibility that Andrew Ference could be ready to return from his foot injury that kept him on the sidelines in the second round. But it sounded at the morning skate that Bruins coach Claude Julien was hesitant to break-up a winning lineup. So the kids Matt Bartkowski, a Pittsburgh native, and Torey Krug likely will get a shot to keep playing on Saturday.

3. How will Jaromir Jagr perform against his former team?

This actually is the third time Jagr will clash against his former club in the playoffs. In 2008, Jagr and the New York Rangers were ousted in five games in the second round by the Penguins. Last year, Jagr and the Philadelphia Flyers eliminated the Penguins in six games in the opening round.

The 41-year-old Jagr, whose picture adorns the Penguins dressing room wall, has four goals and 14 points in 11 playoff games against Pittsburgh.

Projected lineup for Pittsburgh

Forward

Chris Kunitz -- Sidney Crosby -- Pascal Dupuis

Jarome Iginla -- Evgeni Malkin - James Neal

Matt Cooke -- Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy

Brenden Morrow -- Jussi Jokinen - Craig Adams

Defence

Brooks Orpik -- Paul Martin

Mark Eaton - Kris Letang

Douglas Murray - Matt Niskanen

Goaltender

Tomas Vokoun

Projected lineup for Boston

Forward

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Jaromir Jagr

Rich Peverley - Chris Kelly - Tyler Seguin

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Defence

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk

Matt Bartkowski - Dennis Seidenberg

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Goaltender

Tuukka Rask

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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