For the second series in a row, the Boston Bruins will have a chance to sweep their opponent out of the playoffs. This time around it will be at home, in front of a boisterous crowd at TD Garden against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Boston pulled out a 2-1 win in double overtime on Wednesday night to take a 3-0 series lead, putting the Pens on the brink of elimination. It was the second time in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs that a game went into double overtime (Pittsburgh fell to the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in the other 2OT game).
The Bruins received heartbreaking news on Thursday afternoon. Gregory Campbell will miss the remainder of the playoffs with a broken right fibula. Campbell suffered the injury when he put his body on the line, and blocked a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin. In noticeable pain, he remained on the ice for more than a minute after blocking the shot to kill off the penalty. Once he got off the ice, he went straight to the locker room, and didn’t return the rest of the game.
Now, Boston’s head coach Claude Julien has a difficult decision in front of him. Who does he decide to replace Campbell with? Jay Pandolfo and Kaspars Daugavins are two of the likely choices to take Campbell’s place. This season, Pandolfo has played in 18 games, recording no points and Daugavins played in six games, recording one point. Although the two haven’t produced many goals or assists, both are very good on the penalty kill and can contribute to that aspect of the game. Campbell is one of the Bruins main guys when on the penalty kill so both Pandolfo and Daugavins would help out.
Although a completely different situation, we have seen this Boston team rally around an injured player before. When Nathan Horton went out with a concussion in the 2011 Stanley Cup run, the team played for Horton. Now, they will be playing for Gregory Campbell. He put his body on the line for the team and now the Bruins want to win Game 4 and move on to the Stanley Cup Finals for him.
All the Bruins need is one win and they will advance to their second Stanley Cup Finals in three years. Game time is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Friday night and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network.