It all started with a wicked wrist-shot from the top of the circle, just 1:20 into the game and just like that, Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron
put his team up 1-0 over the Florida Panthers.
Then, it was a tip-in on a shot from Tyler Seguin
to give his team a 2-1 lead.
But most importantly, with his team trailing 1-0 in the third round of a game-deciding shootout, Bergeron scored to set up David Krejci
’s game winner as the Bruins left BankAtlantic Arena with a 3-2 victory over the Panthers.
“I can’t say enough about Bergy [Bergeron], he plays like that every night,” forward Daniel Paille
said. “He’s just a smart player.
"He’s the most consistent player I’ve seen.”
After two scoreless rounds in the shootout, Florida forward Stephen Weiss had an empty net after Rask (40 saves) made an aggressive save attempt, and the B’s hopes of picking up two points were riding on No. 37.
The Bruins goaltender said he was extra-appreciative of Bergeron’s goal, and he was impressed by his shot too.
“If you fall its not so good and good thing Bergy was there,” Rask said. “He’s been practicing with me and I like that move he’s got there.”
Bergeron, whose goals in regulation brought his total to 14 on the season, displayed his versatility and aggressiveness on the forecheck.
Head Coach Claude Julien was especially pleased with the effort.
“He was by far the best player, no doubt about it,” Julien said. “He’s the first one back and you understand at the end of the game why he’s exhausted.
"He lays it all on the ice and right now we need more of those kind of guys.
“We don’t have enough guys playing that way and hopefully if they follow his example we’ll be much better,” he said.
Bergeron said he was happy with the effort his team showed in the win and it’s a step in the right direction, but he said the Bruins, who allowed four breakaways in the game, could still improve their game.
“[Florida] played a great game, they were hard on us but we found a way,” Bergeron said. “It’s not always going to be easy, but I think the way we battled tonight, the way we competed, at the end of the day [to get the] shootout win we stepped forward.
"But we need to be better.”
--- Anthony Gulizia