Patrice Bergeron has a knack for performing in the clutch during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In Game 7 of the first round, Bergeron scored the tying and winning goals to complete the Boston Bruins’ historic comeback over the Toronto Maple Leafs. If it wasn’t for that 5-4 come from behind victory, the Black and Gold would be golfing right now. Instead, they are one win away from their second Stanley Cup Final appearance in three years thanks to Bergeron's heroics (again).
At 15:19 of double overtime, the Bruins’ assistant captain added another golden goal to his impressive postseason and gave his team a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night at the TD Garden.
“Bergy, he does everything right, and it’s the little things like that, that makes him such a great player,” forward Brad Marchand said about his fellow linemate. “The way he drove to the net and Brooks [Orpik], he’s a very big guy, very strong, and the way he battled him and put that puck in. It shows he can do everything, and we’re very lucky to have him.”
The two teams battled fatigue throughout the nearly five periods of playoff action. But in the end, the 41-year old Jaromir Jagr set it all up by winning a puck battle with Evgeni Malkin near the Penguins bench. Jagr then fed the puck to Marchand, who set up Bergeron (with Orpik on his back) for the tip-in attempt and his fifth goal of the playoffs.
Wednesday's game-winner was reminiscent in a way to the Game 7 clincher against Toronto. But more importantly it displayed a great chemistry between Bergeron, Marchand and Jagr.
“It was a great play by Jags to take that puck on the wall there and just fighting and getting the loose puck to Marsh, and we do that chemistry where we know where we’re going on the ice,” Bergeron said about his double overtime winner. “I knew he was going to try to find me there if I was driving the net, and I just went to the net and tried to have my stick on the ice and he found me.”
“That’s what happens when you’ve been together for three years as a duo, anyway. They’ve learned to play with each other well,” head coach Claude Julien added about the Bergeron-Marchand duo. “Obviously Jags made a big play in front of their bench to get the puck to them, but, it’s about driving to the net, and Bergy drove hard and had a guy on him and managed to get his stick in the right place and make a great play.”
As the Bruins know, the fourth win is the toughest one to get. But little did anyone think that they’d be in this position to dethrone the top-seeded Penguins in four straight.
On Friday night, Bergeron and the B's have a chance to sweep Pittsburgh and represent the East.
“I really believe that Pittsburgh has been through it before. They have the experience, so we know it’s not over,” said Bergeron. “We’ve really got to make sure we’re even better in Game 4 and we know they will. They’re a great team, and we respect them, and we’ve just got to be in the moment.
“We can’t get over excited about having three wins because you need four.”
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