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Bruins, 8-3

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  September 22, 2008 09:46 PM

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How does a goal and three assists in your first NHL action since last October sound?

Pretty good if you're Patrice Bergeron.

"I thought it went pretty well," Bergeron said. "I had to adjust in that first period, which is a good time to do it. In the second, I felt pretty good and just kept going."

Bergeron, centering Marco Sturm and Phil Kessel, recorded a goal and two assists in the second period, and added a helper in the third.

* Manny Fernandez also made his return, stopping 10 of 12 shots through 40 minutes. Kevin Regan played the third period. Fernandez looked like he was sitting back in his crease instead of challenging shooters. "I want to jump in there and see some action," Fernandez said of the preseason. "I think both teams were a little bit tired. Travel wasn't easy for any of us. But it was a good effort. As far as my playing time, I leave that to the people who make decisions. When I get the nod, I'll go 100 percent. The only thing I can tell you is that I'll work hard in practice, try to get better, and try to get those butterflies away. Every time I get in there, it's like breaking the ice all over again."

* Not a bad debut for Blake Wheeler, who rode shotgun on Boston's second line with P.J. Axelsson and David Krejci. Wheeler skated with the No. 2 power-play unit and also killed penalties with Vladimir Sobotka. Wheeler recorded an assist on Sobotka's game-opening goal.

* Steve Begin, who broke a bone in Marc Savard's back last season, looked like he had something coming when he got tuned up by Shawn Thornton in the third period. Thornton declined to talk about the fight. Begin left the rink with an ice bag on his left hand, while Thornton had a scrape under his right eye.

STICK SALUTE: Sobotka. Two goals. Hitting and absorbing checks. Flying all over the ice. He's in a serious fight for an NHL job, but he's doing his best to lay claim to a big-league check.

SIN BIN: Andrei Kostitsyn. The top-line winger threw two hits the Bruins didn't like: one on Sturm in the first period that brought Kessel flying (one Bruin said he did a double-take when No. 81 charged into the mix), and another on Andrew Ference in the third period. After the hit, Ference first slashed Kostitsyn, then dropped the gloves (instigating, fighting, misconduct). Last season, Kostitsyn touched off a dust-up when he speared Mark Stuart.

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