SUNRISE, FL – While there might have been a question on whether Patrice Bergeron would play on Tuesday night in Florida, there has never been a question about the Bruins center’s toughness. He went out and proved that once again by playing through whatever was ailing him, and serving as a lead contributor in a 2-1 win over the Panthers at the BB&T Center.
Bergeron missed Tuesday's morning skate with what was described as an injury suffered following Monday’s practice, but he then went out and played 18:43 of ice time while winning 14-of-24 face-offs and threading the needle with a lead pass that set up Brad Marchand’s penalty shot attempt in the first period. Bergeron’s line was on the ice for the goal against in the third period and he only managed a shot on net as he continues to be very quiet offensively in the early going.
But he was also a key part of the Bruins going 7-for-7 on the penalty kill that ultimately helped them win the hockey game.
Bergeron remains hopeful that he’s going to feel 100 percent physically at some point this season even if it hasn’t happened yet.
“Hopefully [the discomfort] is going to be gone soon. I felt all right on the ice. It’s one of those things where we all go through the same thing, and it’s about battling through it,” said Bergeron. “I just had to take the morning off to do a little maintenance on it, and I felt fine enough to play tonight.”
Bergeron maintains that his current issue isn’t the same as the lower body injury that knocked him out for the first three games of the season, but it certainly looked like Bergeron has been battling the same kind of discomfort over the last few games. That’s the bottom line with the B’s center: Bergeron will continue to battle through and play while setting the tone for toughness and sacrifice for the rest of the team, but one has to hope that it doesn’t significantly dampen his production while waiting to feel a little closer to fine.