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Penguins, Bruins Rivalry To Peak In Eastern Conference Finals

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/27/2013 7:27:29 PM

It is the NHL Eastern Conference Final series that hockey fans expected, and while the road through the first two rounds didn’t exactly go as planned, the two online sports betting favorites to get to this round have lived up to their billing. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins will skate in a best-of-seven series to determine which team plays for the Stanley Cup, and there is no shortage of storylines to look forward to. From Jaromir Jagr’s return to Pittsburgh, to Jarome Iginla facing the team he spurned at the NHL trade deadline, to the battle of explosive offense versus smothering defense, the Eastern Conference Final will have a little bit of everything.

More than a decade after playing his last game in a Penguins’ uniform, Jaromir Jagr will be playing against his former team in the postseason for the second-straight year. Last season, it was Jagr and the Philadelphia Flyers that eliminated Pittsburgh in the opening round. This year, it will be Jagr trying to lead a Bruins’ team that will rely on his scoring ability even more than the Flyers did. Jagr started the season in Dallas, and one of the only reasons he joined Boston was because the Bruins failed to land Iginla. Jagr has just four points in 12 playoff games to this point in the playoffs, but he has commanded a lot of attention and will play a major role in this online sportsbook series.

Of course, the only reason for Jagr lining up in a Boston uniform is the fact that Iginla reneged on his commitment to play for the Bruins if he was traded to them. Boston had completed a deal with the Flames that would have landed the former Calgary captain, only for Iginla to turn the trade down and refused to waive his no-trade clause in a bid to be moved to the Penguins. Moments after news broke that Iginla was expected to go to the Bruins, Flames’ General Manager Jay Feaster announced he had been traded to Pittsburgh. Iginla has averaged more than a point per game in these playoffs with four goals and eight assists in 11 games, and is one step closer to winning his first ring.

When these teams met during the regular season, Nathan Horton couldn’t wait to get his hands on Iginla and the two fought at center ice. There will be plenty of that rough stuff in this series between the Penguins and Bruins, and it will be interesting to see how their two clashing styles match up. Pittsburgh if the high-flying offensive team that will throw everything at the net, while Boston is the stronger defensive team but can still put up big numbers in transition. This Penguins-Bruins series will have a little bit of everything, and there is a lot to look forward to in terms of storylines on and off the ice. Pittsburgh is the favorite to win the sports betting series and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, but as we have seen throughout these playoffs, it is going to take a lot to stop Boston.

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