Claude Julien watched as his team scored first, then he scolded them for turnovers. Then the Bruins coach sat back and watched his team take Pittsburgh’s best punch and beat the Penguins, 3-0, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday night at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

PITTSBURGH — Matt Cooke technically doesn’t qualify as a repeat offender because his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, but Bruins fans were reminded of what he does when he hit Adam McQuaid from behind and sent the Bruins defenseman head-first into the end boards in the second period of Game 1 of the Eastern Co

PITTSBURGH — Tuukka Rask’s first career playoff shutout came against the toughest offense he’s ever faced in the playoffs, as Rask blanked the Penguins in a 3-0 Bruins victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Rask stood tall for the B’s shutting down the Penguins’ high powered offense and keeping them quiet through four power plays, while Krejci scored in the first and third periods to give him seven goals this postseason and an NHL-leading 19 points.

PITTSBURGH — The Bruins will play a hockey game for the first time in a week when they finally open the Eastern Conference finals against the Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center. From the looks of it, there will be no changes to their lineup, although Andrew Ference could be a possibility to return.

PITTSBURGH -- Come on, James Neal.



WILMINGTON — Andrew Ference is close to playing. How close? Well, that depends on whom you ask and when.

Ference, himself, said that he’s had a very good and productive week of practice as he comes off a left foot injury that sidelined him for the last two games of the first round series against Toronto and all five games against the Rangers.

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about Saturday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

McGuire agreed with a suggestion from studio guest Lyndon Byers that the Bruins should try to take the Penguins out of their game by being physical.

WILMINGTON — David Krejci returned Friday morning from his “minimal maintenance” day on Thursday, as Claude Julien termed it. The Bruins skated for just about an hour before packing up at Ristuccia Arena and leaving immediately for Pittsburgh and Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday night at the Consol Energy Center. All Bruins were on the ice and accounted for as the team worked out in Wilmington for a fourth straight day.

PITTSBURGH -- By now you’ve probably heard the underdog talk from the Bruins, and even if it’s just gamesmanship, they’re not saying anything that isn’t true.



WILMINGTON — As the Bruins wrap up preparations for Game 1 of the Eastern finals Saturday night in Pittsburgh, they are taking a very brief moment to relish what it’s like to be part of a little recent history.

The quartet of the Bruins, Penguins, Blackhawks and Kings aren’t just a made-for-TV dream for NBC, they represent the most successful franchises in hockey over the last four years, as measured by Stanley Cup banners.