WILMINGTON, Mass. – Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski is heading back home to Pittsburgh for the Eastern Conference finals.
Bartkowski played at Mt. Lebanon High School in a suburb south of Pittsburgh. On Saturday night, Boston opens the third round of the postseason at the Penguins' new arena downtown.
Bartkowski didn't make his career playoff debut until the fifth game of the opening round against Toronto. Then he scored a goal in Boston's Game 7 victory vs. the Maple Leafs, and played in all five games of the second-round win over the New York Rangers.
He says he's excited to be going back there even if he's not rooting for the Penguins any more.
He nearly was traded to Calgary for Jarome Iginla just before the March 28 trade deadline. But Iginla waived his no-trade clause only for Pittsburgh and went there.