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“It definitely gives the rest of us a lot of confidence and makes us want to do our part too,” Marchand said. “It flows all the way through the lineup when a guy’s going like that and creates energy for the rest of us and allows us to feed off of that.”

Boston’s three goals tied for the most given up by Pittsburgh goalie Tomas Vokoun since he replaced Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5 of the first round. Bylsma didn’t place the blame for Pittsburgh’s worst loss of the postseason on Vokoun and doesn’t seem intent on switching back to Fleury anytime soon.

“We lost Game 1, but Tomas I thought played real well in the game,” Bylsma said. “He made big saves.”

Rask just made bigger ones. A sprawling stop on Malkin at the end of the first period kept the Bruins in front and he appeared to get stronger as time wore on. Pittsburgh trailed all of 17 minutes in regulation during a five-game romp over Ottawa in the conference semifinals. Boston tripled that number in one game.

Cooke praised Boston’s preparation while hinting the Penguins weren’t as prepared as they needed to be following an eight-day layoff. The Bruins present a significant step up in class and a drastic shift in style over the Islanders and Ottawa.

“It’s a different game than we’ve seen,” Cooke said. “It’s round 3 and I think it’s an eye opener for us and expectations for how the games are going to go has to change. I think that’s healthy for us. Now we can get it out and move forward.”

Boston expects nothing less. The Bruins flustered Crosby and Malkin in the opener. They doubt it will happen again.

“I expect them to have a big game,” Bergeron said. “They’re players who have character, and I don’t even need to say they’re excellent players.”