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Pens edge Bruins to earn East top seed

Apr 20, 2013 - 11:58 PM
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Jussi Jokinen scored a goal and set up a pair of power-play tallies in the third period, as Pittsburgh clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

The teams were set to play Friday night, but the game was postponed because of the daylong manhunt for the second Boston Marathon bomb suspect who was taken into custody Friday night. Pittsburgh was slated to play at home Saturday night against Buffalo, but that game was shifted to Tuesday.

Bruins winger Shawn Thornton said he was very emotional prior to taking the ice.

"It was tough to keep a dry eye," Thornton said. "It's been a tough week for the city and for the country."

Jarome Iginla and Kris Letang scored in the third period for the Penguins, who have won six in a row and 21 of their last 23 games. Tomas Vokoun made 38 saves in the victory.

Iginla has three goals in nine games with the Penguins since being acquired from Calgary in late March. He was booed every time he touched the puck, as the Bruins initially thought they had a deal with the Flames before he was shipped to Pittsburgh.

"I wasn't surprised," Iginla said of the crowd reaction. "It's a great sports city. At the time I was very humbled and flattered both teams were interested in me."

Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin scored for the Bruins, who are 0-3-1 in their last four, their longest winless stretch since dropping four straight from March 10-15, 2012. Tuukka Rask turned aside 21 shots in defeat.

With the game tied at 1-1 entering the third, Marchand was whistled off for roughing just 3:25 into the period and the Penguins converted the power play into the go-ahead goal at the 4:43 mark. Jokinen, who drew the penalty, controlled the puck in the slot and sent a pass back to the center point for Iginla, who rifled a low shot through a screen by Chris Kunitz and past Rask for his 12th goal of the season.

Matt Bartkowski took a high-sticking penalty at 8:17 and the Pens again cashed in, this time just 12 seconds into the ensuing power play. Jokinen came out of the left corner with the puck and sent a pass to Letang, who fired a wrister from the top of the left circle past Rask on the blocker side for his fifth goal.

Vokoun stopped Marchand on a breakaway soon after and also kept out a rebound try by Seguin, who later scored with just 2.6 seconds remaining to account for the final margin.

The Bruins scored on a power play midway through the first period for the game's first goal. Marchand took a feed from Zdeno Chara, sped down the left wing and split two Pittsburgh defenders in the circle before snapping a shot that snuck through Vokoun and trickled over the goal line.

Pittsburgh tied it just over five minutes into the second. Matt Niskanen blasted a shot from the right point and Jokinen beat Rask to the rebound at the right side of the crease, flipping a backhander over the outstretched netminder for his 10th goal of the season.

Marchand again put the puck behind Vokoun with just over seven minutes left in the second, knocking it out of the netminder's pads but after the whistle had clearly stopped play.

Game Notes

The Bruins, who on Wednesday played the first game in Boston after Monday's marathon bombings, wore patches with a blue and yellow ribbon -- the colors of the Boston Athletic Association, which operates the Boston Marathon. The Penguins wore patches with the Boston area code of 617. There was a video tribute to law enforcement authorities and another rousing rendition of the national anthem followed by chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A" from the crowd ... Boston's Nathan Horton did not return for the start of the second period after a brief scrap with Iginla late in the first period ... Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis had a six-game point streak stopped ... Boston's Milan Lucic was a healthy scratch ... The Penguins won all three meetings with the Bruins, sweeping the season series for the first time since 1993-94. Pittsburgh has also won six straight in Boston.