Bruins get strong showing from Bergeron despite loss

Bruins get strong showing from Bergeron despite loss
May 7, 2014, 10:15 am
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MONTREAL – Patrice Bergeron isn’t the type to draw lot of solace from a dominant individual performance when his team just lost a playoff game to the Montreal Canadiens, so he wasn’t patting himself on the back Tuesday night.

Bergeron had scored a goal that pushed the Bruins back into the game and was a dominant figure in Boston’s 4-2 loss to the Habs in Game 3 at the Bell Centre.

Bergeron finished with a team-high six shots on net, won 17-of-28 face offs, generated 10 shot attempts overall and he combined with Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith to give Boston their best forward line for the second straight game. The two-way Bruins center’s goal at the end of the second period finally put Boston on the board, and gave them enough momentum to give his team some hope headed into the final period of hockey.

But the effort, the execution and the focus weren’t good enough team-wide, and Bergeron’s line didn’t have enough magic in their sticks for another stunning third period comeback like in Game 2.

“There were few breakdowns early that can’t happen, and they made us pay,” said Bergeron. “We gave them those plays. They’re going to make you pay if they’re not aware. It definitely wasn’t the effort that we wanted, and we got the result because of it.”

Bergeron was on the ice for one of those breakdowns when P.K. Subban hopped out of the penalty box, and sprung free for a breakaway goal that really served as a punch to the gut for the Black and Gold. Bergeron was actually the player tracking Lars Eller, the man that made the pass to Subban, but Dougie Hamilton crossed across the ice to step up on Eller thereby giving the Montreal defenseman a free path to the net.

As Bergeron said while recounting the mistake afterward, those kinds of things can’t happen in a playoff game where every play counts.

“I didn’t see it. I was on the other side of the rink so I was staying with [Eller]. I don’t think Dougie saw [Subban] so he came over [to the other side]. I think we both kind of need to do a better job, and be more aware.”

In all honesty the mistake was much more Hamilton than Bergeron on the play, but there were other culprits: Tuukka Rask never banged his stick on the ice to let his penalty killing teammates know that Subban was exiting the box, and nobody from the bench gave a yell to those unknowing players.

It’s like the entire Bruins team was fast asleep in the first period when they should have been on high alert against the jacked up Canadiens. Bergeron matched their intensity for the majority of the 60 minutes in Game 3, but he was one of the few Bruins that truly showed up in the game.