BOSTON - The Boston Bruins would like nothing more than to win another game for their fallen teammate Gregory Campbell
to sweep the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday and advance to their second Stanley Cup final in three years.
The Bruins confirmed Campbell will miss the rest of the playoffs with a broken right fibula after he blocked an Evgeni Malkin shot midway through the second period of Boston's 2-1 double overtime win in Game 3
"We talked about it," Campbell's linemate Shawn Thornton said. "We don't want it to go to waste. We want to play well for him.
"That's the type of player he is. He sacrifices his body, not just in the playoffs, that's how he is all the time. He will be missed."
A big part of the Bruins success has been their balanced, four-line attack. Campbell is one of Boston's toughest players and best penalty killers.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien commented that he has plenty of options. But the most likely possibility for Julien would be to replace Campbell with 38-year-old forward Jay Pandolfo, who won Stanley Cups in 2000 and 2003 with the New Jersey Devils. Pandolfo, however, hasn't played in a game since April 6.
The Penguins were built at the trade deadline to win this year, but now that they trail the East final 3-0
the handwringing has begun about their immediate future.
They have 18 players under contract next season with a $56.4-million payroll, which is $7.9-million under the $64.3-million salary cap. Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, Mark Eaton, Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray will be come unrestricted free agents this summer.
But more importantly, Malkin and Kris Letang are about to enter the final year of their long-term contracts. Should they be traded or can both be signed to extensions. Chris Kunitz, Tomas Vokoun, Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen and Deryk Engelland also are slated to become unrestricted free agents after next season.
Is it time for Penguins general manager Ray Shero to part ways with either Malkin or Letang? What is the future for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has two more years left on his deal with a salary cap hit of $5-million a season? Will head coach Dan Bylsma survive? It will be an interesting offseason in Pittsburgh.
"I don't and never have never coached for my job," Bylsma said, when asked if he fears he will lose his job. "I came here in '09 to win games. That is where we're at now.
"I believe in that group. I believe in that team and I believe we are going to battle."
If the Bruins can complete the sweep on Friday, it will be the first time a Penguins team has been swept in the playoffs since the Boston took care of Pittsburgh in four games in the second round in 1979.
Of course, the Bruins don't need to be reminded that they were the last team to blow a 3-0 series lead to lose a playoff series in seven games. The Philadelphia Flyers stormed back from a three-game deficit to win in the second round in 2010.
Meanwhile, even though Malkin was one of the best players in Game 3 and Sidney Crosby was better than the first two games of the series, the two have failed to register a point in three games.
The two made their playoff debuts in 2007 and have failed to score a point in the same game in only 16 of 81 games in which both players were in the Penguins lineup. In those 16 games, Pittsburgh has gone 2-14. When either one scores a point, the Penguins have gone 45-20.
The last time Crosby has been held without a point in three straight regular season or playoff games for five games between Oct. 31 and Nov. 10, 2009. The last time he failed to check in without a point in three consecutive playoff games was the final three games of the 2009
Stanley Cup championship series.
Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron, who scored the double-overtime winner
on Wednesday evening, now has 15 career playoff goals, including three in overtime and five game-winning goals in total.
1. April 9, 2004 - Overtime winner (1:26) to beat the Montreal Canadiens in Game 2 of the opening round and give the Bruins a 2-0 series lead they would eventually lose in seven games. This was Bergeron's second career playoff game.
2. April 19, 2010 - With 7:03 remaining in the third period, Bergeron knocked in a Mark Recchi pass to give the Bruins a 2-1 win in Game 3 and a 2-1 first-round series lead against the Buffalo Sabres. Boston later won the series to advance.
3. June 15, 2011 - His late first-period goal, and first of two goals in the game, gave the Bruins a seven-game victory over the Vancouver Canucks to claim the 2010-11 Stanley Cup championship.
4. May 13. 2013 - Overtime winner (6:05) to complete Boston's comeback in Game 7 of first round vs. Toronto. Bergeron also scored the game-tying goal with 51 seconds left in regulation time.
5. June 5, 2013 - Double overtime (15:19) to put Bruins up 3-0 in East final vs. Pittsburgh.
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