PITTSBURGH - Don't worry, Kris Letang insists. The heat is coming.
Sure, the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman admits the New York Rangers don't invite quite the same animosity inside his team's locker room as the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Rangers ended any shot of that tantalizing matchup when they beat the Flyers in seven games to set up a showdown with Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference semifinals starting tonight.
That doesn't mean Letang expects the next two weeks to be devoid of drama. Far from it.
"I'm pretty sure the intensity will get really high at one point when we start," Letang said. "The emotion is always going to be part of the game and we're going to have to control it the best we can."
It's an internal battle the Penguins won during a taut first-round series against Columbus. Expected to send the inexperienced Blue Jackets home without much effort, Pittsburgh needed six trying games to advance.
The way the Penguins figure it, that's a good thing. Forced to respond to adversity, they played what coach Dan Bylsma called their best 120 minutes this season to avoid the upset.
"We keep coming and we keep coming, playing forward and playing in the offensive zone and grinding teams down with that play with that speed and quickness," Bylsma said. "Games 5 and 6 were our best at playing that way."
The Penguins will need to do it four more times if they want to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year. They split their four regular-season meetings with New York, all of them coming before the Olympic break.
The Rangers hardly look like the team that was still struggling to find an identity when they last faced Pittsburgh in early February.
Pittsburgh is no longer the patched-together unit that cruised to the Metropolitan Division title despite having stars Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Paul Martin and James Neal miss large chunks of the season due to injury.
Canadiens 4, Bruins 3, 2OT
BOSTON (AP) - P.K. Subban scored his second goal of the game at 4:17 of the second overtime to give Montreal a victory against Boston night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The goal came 7 seconds into the Canadiens' second power play of overtime. Fans pelted the ice with cups and giveaway towels as the players filed off of the ice.
Carey Price stopped 48 shots for Montreal.
Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the Bruins, who finished the regular season with the best record in the NHL but lost home-ice advantage with the defeat.