Vokoun to start for Penguins in Game 3 of East final | Hockey | CBC Sports

Playoffs 2013Vokoun to start for Penguins in Game 3 of East final

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 | 01:14 PM

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Tomas Vokoun was yanked from Game 2 after giving up three goals on 12 shots. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Tomas Vokoun was yanked from Game 2 after giving up three goals on 12 shots. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Three storylines for Game 3 of the East final between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins on Hockey Night in Canada on Wednesday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET). The Bruins lead the series 2-0.

BOSTON -- Three storylines for Game 3 of the East final between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins on Hockey Night in Canada on Wednesday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET). The Bruins lead the series 2-0.

Game 4 is back at Boston's TD Garden on Friday.

1. Pittsburgh's top players and leaders must step up.

When Penguins general manager Ray Shero added players like Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow at the trade deadline, he was lauded for bringing in character players to add to an already strong leadership group that included Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis and Brooks Orpik. Morrow and Iginla were the captains of their respective clubs, the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames, at the time of their trades.

Now, more than ever, the Penguins need leadership and character to overcome the 2-0 series deficit. 

"I think there's a lot to that," Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma said. "We haven't really been happy with the way we've played, and we've gotten off our game and deviated from it. We know the situation we're in exactly, too. We're down 0-2 and we're challenged with going on the road to Boston for two. 

"We're going to find out exactly an awful lot about our mindset, our team coming out here tonight in this game."

The Penguins did seem like a loose bunch on the ice Wednesday morning. They chuckled about the story that some Penguins fans have organized a boycott of the airline JetBlue.

On a Tuesday morning flight from Pittsburgh to Boston, there was a baby crying, which prompted the pilot to jokingly ask on the plane's loudspeaker, "Is that Sidney Crosby in back of our plane?"

2. Tomas Vokoun will start in goal for the Penguins.

Tomas Vokoun will make his 10th consecutive start in goal for Pittsburgh. He was lifted after he surrendered three goals on 12 shots, 16:31 into the first period in Game 2 on Monday.

If Marc-Andre Fleury would have distinguished himself better in his relief appearance, he may have been back in goal on Wednesday. But he allowed three goals on 17 shots and wasn't any better.

"We don't need perfection," Bylsma said. "We're looking for a solid game between the pipes from our goalie to allow our team to win the hockey game."

The 36-year-old Vokoun was informed that he would start on Tuesday night. He deserves the nod. When the Penguins struggled early in the playoffs and were tied 2-2 against the New York Islanders in the first round, Vokoun came to the rescue. He has gone 6-3 with a .929 save percentage. Fleury has an abysmal .883 save percentage this spring.

The bigger issue may be what the future holds for the 28-year-old Fleury in Pittsburgh. He still has two more years left on his contract that has a $5-million annual salary cap hit.

3. Will there be any new faces in the Penguins lineup tonight?

With Evgeni Malkin and Iginla not on the ice for the Penguins' morning skate, it was difficult to tell if Bylsma will alter his Game 3 lineup. But outside of starting Fleury in goal and shifting around his line combinations there is nothing dramatic that the Penguins head coach can do to shake up his team.

Some of the players he has used in the previous 13 playoff games who did not play for the Penguins in Game 2 include forwards Tanner Glass, Tyler Kennedy and Beau Bennett; and defencemen Mark Eaton and Simon Depres. Left wing Dustin Jeffrey, 25, of Sarnia, Ont. would be another option for the Penguins.

Projected lineup for Pittsburgh

Forward

Chris Kunitz -- Sidney Crosby -- Pascal Dupuis

Jarome Iginla -- Evgeni Malkin -- James Neal

Matt Cooke -- Brandon Sutter -- Brenden Morrow

Craig Adams -- Jussi Jokinen -- Tyler Kennedy

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 -- Dennis Seidenberg

Andrew Ference -- Johnny Boychuk

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Goaltender

Tuukka Rask

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC.

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