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June 06. 2013 12:40AM

Bergeron strikes in second OT for Bruins' win over Penguins, 3-0 series lead; Rask with 53 saves

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask celebrates after his team defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in double overtime in Game 3 of their NHL Eastern Conference finals hockey playoff series on Wednesday. (REUTERS/Winslow Townson)

BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron scored 15:19 into double overtime as host Boston pushed top-seeded Pittsburgh to the brink of elimination by winning Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final, 2-1, on Wednesday night.

Jaromir Jagr forced a turnover at center ice and fed Brad Marchand at the blue line. Marchand skated along the left-wing boards before wiring a hard pass to Bergeron, who gained inside position on Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. Bergeron had his stick on the ice and was able to deflect Marchand's offering past the outstretched left pad of Tomas Vokoun (38 saves) to end the marathon.

David Krejci scored 1:42 into the first period for his NHL-leading ninth goal of the postseason and fourth of the series. Tuukka Rask turned aside 53 shots for the fourth-seeded Bruins, who will look to close out the series at home on Friday and advance to the Stanley Cup final for the second time in three years.

Boston got the early jump on Pittsburgh as Krejci skated out from behind the net to the lower edge of the left faceoff circle. He then fired his team's first shot of the game, which caromed off the right skate of Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen and between the legs of Vokoun.

The Penguins forged a tie at 8:51 of the second period after Paul Martin aggressively skated toward the net following an offensive-zone faceoff win. The defenseman reached the goal line before backhanding a pass to Chris Kunitz, who elevated the puck past Rask from the lower edge of the left circle.

GAME NOTEBOOK: After Vokoun denied RW Nathan Horton on a partial breakaway 2:21 into the first overtime, the latter nearly ended the contest five minutes later by hitting the right post. ... Pittsburgh has been involved in both double-overtime games during this postseason. The Penguins dropped a 2-1 decision to seventh-seeded Ottawa in Game 3 of their second-round series. ... Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby's backhand shot hit the right post early in the third period and reigning Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin also hit the iron later in the session. ... The Penguins failed to score on all six of their power-play opportunities. They are 0-for-12 in the series. ... Boston C Gregory Campbell did not return to the bench for the third period after injuring his right leg while blocking a point shot by Malkin. ... The Bruins honored Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Officer Richard Donohue prior to the game. Injured in the manhunt for the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings, Donohue was wheeled out to the ice by his wife and waved the team's flag.

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