BOSTON - Zdeno Chara has suited up alongside Patrice Bergeron for the last 12 seasons. He knows, perhaps better than anyone, the vital part Bergeron plays in the success of the Bruins' organization.
So as impressive and eye-popping as Bergeron's four-goal, five-point performance in Saturday night's 7-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes may have been, Chara did not see it as much different than any other game in his long-time teammate's career. To him, it was just another day at the office for Boston's alternate captain.
"It's not just a night like tonight, it's every night," said Chara. "He does so much for this hockey club, for this organization. Every night he's working very hard, he plays a 200-foot game and he does all those little things that we ask from him and he goes above and beyond every night.
"Very happy for him that he had the night that he had and he got rewarded by scoring really nice goals and making great plays, so you can only be happy for a player like that that gives so much to the team."
Video: CAR@BOS: Bergeron leads the way with four goals
Bergeron's career night helped the Bruins cruise to a commanding victory over the Hurricanes, extending Boston's points streak to 10 games (8-0-2). The 32-year-old's five points tied a career high and his four goals tied a club record, a feat that was last accomplished in 1999 by Hall of Famer Dave Andreychuk. Bergeron's second goal was the 700th point of his career.
"I think it was one of those nights where the puck was going in, but also I was finding that slot," said Bergeron, who notched his second career hat trick and first since 2011. "It seemed like it was open and Brad [Marchand] kept finding me there. He was doing a good job of making those plays. It seemed like I had a lane so I tried to take it."
Fittingly, on a night in which Bergeron added to his already stellar list of accolades, his longtime partner in crime set a mark of his own. Marchand, a fixture on Bergeron's left wing since Boston's Stanley Cup run in 2011, assisted on all four of Bergeron's goals to establish a new career high. Marchand now has 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) over his last 17 games.
"It's pretty impressive," Marchand said of his linemate. "Anytime you can get four goals in a game - three is impressive - so being part of this one and seeing him have the game he's had, it's definitely up there.
"But, you know, I think the Olympics and winning the Cup and him being Patrice Bergeron is above that."
Video: Bergeron speaks to media after 4 goals and 1 assist
Bergeron, who admitted to being a bit under the weather after a reporter noted the strain in his voice after the game, helped lead a commanding night for his line, which had been relatively quiet in the offensive end over the last handful of games. In addition to his goal-scoring barrage, Bergeron also delivered the primary assist on David Pastrnak's one-time power-play blast that opened up a 3-1 Bruins lead in the first period and snapped the winger's 10-game goal-less stretch.
"I think he was playing well," Bergeron said of Pastrnak. "The team's doing well, too, so I don't think it's anything anyone should be worried about. It's going to happen during the year. He kept putting in the work and helping the team. I'm sure he's happy with it, it feels good for him. That being said, everyone's contributing. It's been pretty fun to be a part of."
Overall, Boston's top trio combined for five goals and seven assists, leaving Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy with few words to describe their dominance.
"You guys write, I coach. You can choose them," Cassidy quipped. "They were fun to watch when they got puck possession and they ended up getting it to the net with numbers in the slot. High-percentage shots.
"[Bergeron] had four; he might have been able to have six, too. He had some really quality looks. Someone has to get him the puck. Good for that line - told them in the room, they probably got tired of reading about [Sean] Kuraly and [Riley] Nash supplying all of the offense, so they said to heck with that."
Video: Bergeron scores four goals in Bruins' 7-1 victory
Perhaps the most impressive part of Bergeron's night was the diversity of his four strikes. The first was a shorthanded tally, which came after he cleared the puck from the slot in Boston's end and raced up the ice where he took a feed from Marchand and ripped one by Cam Ward for a 1-0 lead at 3:14 of the first period.
Bergeron's second goal, which capped the Bruins' five-goal first period and chased Ward from the game in favor of Scott Darling, was a patented one-time strike from the slot off another sweet dish from Marchand.
"It's just amazing to watch Bergy get a shot off from [the slot]," said Cassidy. "If you are at Warrior enough, you will see him working on it every morning skate - getting that quick release. Usually [assistant coach Jay Pandolfo] is out there feeding him pucks, or Joe [Sacco]. "
Video: CAR@BOS: Bergeron sends home loose puck for hat trick
No. 37 completed his hat trick at 5:36 of the second when he cleaned up a Marchand rebound, before capping his monster night just over five minutes later with another full-ice effort that started behind Boston's net and ended with a one-time tap in of a Pastrnak feed.
"No I wasn't," Bergeron said when asked if he was aiming for five goals. "I was trying to play the game. I guess everything was falling in place and it was halfway through the game I had four…I didn't know what to expect for the next half of the game. Once you get a big lead like that you play kind of a different way and it wasn't the same."
What was the same was Bergeron's dogged effort, which, as Chara pointed out, remains the heartbeat of the Bruins' success - no matter what the scoresheet may show.