BOSTON — It looks as if Jarome Iginla was wrong.
Back at the trade deadline, the future Hall of Famer decided he wanted to go to Pittsburgh rather than Boston because the Penguins had a better chance to win the Stanley Cup.
However, early Thursday morning, Patrice Bergeron tipped a Brad Marchand pass past Tomas Vokoun with 4:41 left in the second overtime, giving the Bruins a 2-1 Game 3 victory and a commanding 3-0 lead over Iginla’s Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Bruins, five victories from their second Stanley Cup in the last three years, can advance to the finals with a win on home ice Friday night.
Only three teams have ever come back from 0-3 deficits to win a playoff series. The Bruins were on the wrong end of the most recent one, to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010.
“It’s all about that next game,” Bergeron said. “You need four games to win.”
Down the hall, Iginla said, “It’s a bigger hole, 3-0 than 2-0, but we played well tonight. It’s a game we just didn’t win.”
Former Penguin Jaromir Jagr, who won two Cups with Pittsburgh over two decades ago, started the winning rush at center ice and got the puck to Marchand, who found Bergeron for the center’s second overtime goal of this year’s playoffs. The TD Garden clock read 00:13 (military time).
That made it June 6 — D-Day for the Penguins?
The goal made a winner of goalie Tuukka Rask, who made 53 saves on a night the Penguins showed they indeed had some heart left.
“We played exactly how we wanted to play. We just couldn’t find that second goal,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said.
Asked what his team has to do to start an improbable comeback in the series, Bylsma said, “We’re going to regroup and play like that again. Win one hockey game.”
Vokoun, who got the nod to go back in goal after being pulled in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 2, also played well, stopping 38 shots.
Some 90 seconds before the winner, Pittsburgh’s Craig Adams hit the post behind Rask. In the first OT, Nathan Horton hit the post for Boston.
Boston’s David Krejci, the playoff scoring leader, scored his ninth just 1:42 into the game, and Chris Kunitz answered with his fifth at 8:51 of the second period.
Rask has allowed two goals on 110 shots in the three games in this series, as he looks to repeat what Tim Thomas did two years ago and lead the Bruins to the Cup.
“He’s been great all playoffs, and he’s given us the saves and momentum we need,” Bergeron said.
The Bruins had three power plays in the first overtime, and the Penguins had one in the second after Boston was hit with its second too-many-men penalty of the game (that particular infraction is a sore spot in Bruins history).
The Bruins lost center Gregory Campbell in the second period after he blocked an Evgeni Malkin shot with his right leg (and tried to keep playing). There was no update on his condition, but he didn’t return and was on crutches after the game.
“It doesn’t look good,” Boston coach Claude Julien said.
Said Bergeron: “That block right there, that’s Soupy (Campbell).”
The Pittsburgh stars showed up to play. Malkin had 10 shots (and a post) and was flying throughout; defenseman Chris Letang had eight shots, James Neal seven. Sidney Crosby hit a post and was his dominant self late in the game. The Pens had more hits and won the faceoff war.
None of it was enough.
“We did a lot of things,” Crosby said. “Certainly our power play didn’t score. We just weren’t able to get that second one. We’ve just got to stick to the plan. We can’t get three wins in one game. We certainly had our chances.”
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara logged 42:05 on the defense, and Bergeron, who had a rare tough night on faceoffs (just 13-for-35) again made the big play. He tied Game 7 in the first-round series against Toronto and then won it in overtime.
“It felt incredible,” Marchand said. “It was very long, very tiring, but we came out with the win.”
NOTES: Jagr’s assist on the winner moved him into a tie with Paul Coffey for fifth place on the all-time playoff scoring list. … There still hasn’t been a power-play goal in the series. … The Bruins are 4-1 in OT games this year, Pittsburgh 2-2. … Both coaches said they were pleased that the competition committee recommended visors become mandatory for players entering the league next season. Neither coach thought there’s as much of a stigma attached to players wearing visors than there once was. … Continuing the playoff run of honoring those injured in the Boston Marathon bombings and its aftermath, Wednesday night’s Fan Banner Captain was transit police officer Richard Donohue, who was wounded in a firefight with the suspects. “After being in hospitals for the better part of almost two months now, just being able to get outside, have some fun, be at a Bruins playoff game, it’s awesome,” Donohue said. “I’m excited. I’m happy to be out, even if it’s only for one night.” … The Bruins are 12-10 in all-time playoff games against the Penguins, outscoring Pittsburgh 73-69. … Rask was OK after taking a Shawn Thornton shot near the collarbone at the morning skate. He angrily left his crease, but Julien seemed to get a kick out of the whole thing. … Spotted in the crowd: Patriots coach Bill Belichick, waving a yellow towel.