Bruins Grinder Out for Playoffs
In this June 5, 2013 photo, Boston Bruins center Gregory Campbell skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs in Boston. Campbell will miss the rest of the NHL playoffs with a broken right leg. General manager Peter Chiarelli made the announcement Thursday. Campbell was hurt during the second period of the Bruins 2-1, double-overtime victory. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Boston — For one minute, the last minute of his season, Bruins center Gregory Campbell helped kill a penalty while skating on a broken right leg.
Then he slowly went to the bench to a standing ovation and to Boston’s locker room in the second period of the Bruins 2-1 win in double overtime over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.
The Bruins will have to manage without their dependable center on their strong fourth line when they try to sweep the best-of-seven series tonight.
“What he did yesterday surprised a lot of people, but it didn’t surprise us because that’s just who he is,” Boston coach Claude Julien said yesterday. “Stay in there and make sure he finishes his shift. As a coach you probably wish he would have stayed down, but that’s not his job.”
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Campbell suffered a broken leg during the power play in which he dove and blocked Evgeni Malkin’s hard shot from 50 feet on the right. It took him 10 seconds to get up, then he got in front of Malkin again and Kris Letang, forcing both to make passes.
“I’ve been playing with him for three years,” linemate Shawn Thornton said. “What he did, it kind of epitomizes what type of player he is, though. He’s been like that for probably his whole career, but the whole time he’s been here, for sure. He definitely sacrifices his body in a lot of ways to help the team win so he’ll be missed.”
Julien said he’d like to continue using four lines. Boston, easily one of the deepest teams in the league, has plenty of options that have been sitting in the press box, and can dress at any time. One name to consider is veteran Jay Pandolfo, 38, a left wing who won two Stanley Cup titles in New Jersey (2000, 2003).
“When you’re not playing, you always just want to stay ready because you never know when that opportunity’s going to come,” Pandolfo said.
The Bruins also could move Chris Kelly or Rich Peverley, who both can play center, down from the third line.
“What Soupy (Campbell) did, it almost seems like it’s expected around here,” defenseman Torey Krug said. “I think everyone in this locker room would have been willing to do that, but Soupy is one of a kind.”
In 15 playoff games this year, Campbell has three goals and four assists.
Campbell, 29, is the son of NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell, a former coach of the New York Rangers.
Gregory Campbell is a member of the Bruins’ “Merlot Line,” which also includes Dan Paille and Thornton. The moniker refers to the wine-colored jerseys they sport during Boston’s practices.