Carolina Hurricanes

Bergeron serves a four-goal reminder that he's still pretty great

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Bergeron serves a four-goal reminder that he's still pretty great

BOSTON – In a 14-year career where Patrice Bergeron has won and accomplished just about everything, he managed to find a way to experience something new on Saturday night. 

Bergeron scored a career-high four goals in the Bruins 7-1 trouncing of the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden, and put together a game for the ages where tied a career-high with five points, finished with a plus-4 rating and won 13-of-18 face-offs. There was a shorthanded goal and a primary assist to David Pastrnak on the power play, and there were a couple of strikes in the slot where he does a great deal of his offensive damage these days. 

MORE - Bergeron's first career four-goal game keeps B's hot streak going

Clearly it won’t even be the fourth or fifth greatest thing that Bergeron has ever accomplished in a career built on winning at the highest levels, but notching a four-goal game is something that will end up on Bergeron’s Greatest Hits reel when it’s all said and done. 

"It’s pretty impressive. Seeing him have a game like this is definitely up there...but I think the Olympics, winning the Cup and him just being Patrice Bergeron might be above that,” said Brad Marchand, who assisted on all four of Bergeron’s scored. “We were hoping to get him to six, but it didn’t work out.”

It hasn’t just been a one-game explosion for Bergeron, however, despite his line combining for five goals, 12 points and a plus-11 rating in the blowout win over the Canes. Bergeron has been red-hot during Boston’s two-month surge and has 11 goals and 13 points in his last 11 games to move into a tie with both Marchand and Pastrnak for the team lead with 16 goals scored on the season. 

Clearly it’s about Bergeron hitting one of his high notes of the season right along with the rest of the team, but it’s also about a player getting rewarded for all the work that he puts in regularly on a daily basis. 

“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. It’s just amazing to watch Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] get a shot off from there,” said Bruce Cassidy. “If you are at Warrior enough, you will see him working on it every morning skate – getting that quick release. Usually Jay [Pandolfo] is out there feeding him pucks, or Joe [Sacco]. 

“He 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.”

Bergeron also said to heck with the Bruins record books with one highly productive game as he matched the franchise record for goals scored in a single game last achieved by Dave Andreychuk during his brief stint with the Bruins back in 1999. He matched his own career-high achieved once before with his five points, and Bergeron also passed the 700-point mark in an NHL career that’s beginning to hit some big, round numbers. 

Just don’t expect the team-oriented Bergeron to dwell on the individual achievement aside from admitting that scoring four goals “was a little fun.” Instead it was about the entire team getting another two points in the standings, the varied offensive production that’s been at the heart of Boston’s recent dominant stretch and linemate David Pastrnak busting out of his 10-game goal-scoring drought. 

“I think it was one of those nights where puck was going in, but also I was finding that slot. 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,” said Bergeron. “The team’s doing well too, so I don’t think [a slump] is anything anyone should be worried about it’s going to happen during the year. [David Pastrnak] kept putting in the work and helping the team, I’m sure he’s happy with it and it feels good for him. That being said, everyone’s contributing, so it’s been pretty fun to be a part of.”

It certainly feels a long way removed from Bergeron missing the first handful of games to start this season with a nagging injury. The bumps and bruises from the last couple of seasons serve as a reminder that Bergeron  isn't getting any younger at this point. But he's also not quite out of his hockey prime yet either with his hockey IQ and legendary work ethic working in his favor.  

The stalwart 32-year-old center hasn’t missed even a single shift since coming back into the lineup, and he’s been at his absolute best while putting up the kind of numbers that should be good enough to get him onto the Atlantic Division squad for the NHL All-Star game festivities later on this month. 

All of that pales in comparison to the team accomplishments on Bergeron’s lengthy, considerable hockey resume, and it looks like he might just add to that coveted list this season. Let’s just set that aside this time around, however, and simply enjoy one Saturday night where No. 37’s four-goal greatness was on display for everybody to easily appreciate. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bergeron's first career four-goal game keeps Bruins' hot streak going

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Bergeron's first career four-goal game keeps Bruins' hot streak going

GOLD STAR: Patrice Bergeron. Patrice Bergeron. Patrice Bergeron. He finished with the first four-goal game of his career, totaled five points and had a plus-4 rating along with seven shots on net, 10 shot attempts and a 13-of-17 performance in the face-off circle in as close to perfection as you’re liable to get in an NHL game. It continues a recent tear that Bergeron has been on where he’s scored 11 goals and 13 points in his last 11 games. It’s just the second five-point game of his NHL career, and he’s the first Bruins player to notch four goals since Hall of Famer Dave Andreychuk did it in his brief stay with the B’s back in 1999. The first goal was a piece of shorthanded magic off the rush, and then after that it was about setting No. 37 up for good scoring chances in the slot where he does so much of his damage these days. Hopefully that kind of performance is enough to put it over the top for him in the NHL All-Star game where he really belongs. 

BLACK EYE: The Carolina goaltending duo got a grand total of three mock cheers from the TD Garden crowd during a game where they combined to allow seven goals on just 28 shots on net. That means it was a pathetic night for both Cam Ward and for Scott Darling, and really showed that their goalie situation is not one of the strengths of the team despite Ward’s recent hot stretch. Ward was pulled after allowing goals on each of the first two shots he faced in the game as both beat him cleanly to the glove hand off the rush. First it was Bergeron on a shorthanded rush, and then it was Riley Nash on an admittedly scorched wrist shot directly under the bar. In all the Hurricanes goalies allowed five goals on the first seven shots they faced and gave the rest of their Carolina teammates zero chance of winning the game. 

TURNING POINT: The Hurricanes stormed back after falling behind 2-0, and actually scored early in the first period to halve Boston’s lead and potentially change the game’s momentum after Carolina had made the goalie change. But instead the Bruins answered with David Pastrnak hammering a one-timer on the power play less than two minutes later, and then scored two more goals for good measure in a first period where they never took their foot off the pedal. Clearly the final scored made it seems like it was blowout city and for the final 50 minutes of the game it most definitely was, but the Bruins did a good job of making plays and really going for the kill in the first 10 minutes of the game when it was still sort of competitive. If we’re being honest, though, the goaltending from Carolina was so bad that the Canes never had a chance. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Give it to David Pastrnak for snapping a 10-game goal scoring drought, and finished with a goal and three points in his best offensive performance in nearly a month. The 21-year-old smoked his best scoring chance from his spot at the left face-off dot, and maximized his time with the goal, the three points and the plus-3 rating in 13 minutes of ice time to go along with the five shot attempts as well. Perhaps best of all was Pastrnak’s animated reaction when Bergeron scored his third goal of the night and hats started raining down from the stands. Now all three members of the Perfection Line are tied for the team-lead with 16 goals on the season. 

BY THE NUMBERS: 8-0-2 – the Bruins record while riding a current 10-game point streak, their longest consecutive stretch of that kind since taking points in 16 straight games on their way to the President’s Trophy in 2013-14. 

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It’s pretty impressive. Seeing him have a game like this is definitely up there...but I think the Olympics, winning the Cup and him just being Patrice Bergeron might be above that." –Brad Marchand, on his linemate Patrice Bergeron scoring four goals for the first time in an illustrious NHL career that’s had some pretty high points.  

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bergeron scores four goals in Bruins rout of Hurricanes

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Bergeron scores four goals in Bruins rout of Hurricanes

BOSTON – The Bruins talked about their aim of heading into the bye week on a high note, and then they went out and showed it by thoroughly humiliating the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night. 

Patrice Bergeron scored four goals for the first time in his legendary career with the Bruins and the Perfection Line (Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak) combined for five goals, 12 goals and a plus-11 in a 7-1 thrashing over the Hurricanes at TD Garden. 

Appropriately enough it was Bergeron that got things rolling for the Bruins on a shorthanded strike little more than three minutes into the first period, and two minutes later Riley Nash beat Cam Ward to the same spot on his glove hand to make it 2-0. 

Carolina yanked Cam Ward in favor of Scott Darling, but the Black and Gold beating continued with goals from David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk and Bergeron again in the first period. Bergeron capped off the hat trick when he finished off a Brad Marchand helper partway through the second period, and then made it a four-goal game later on in the second. 

Bergeron became the first Bruins player to score four goals since Hall of Fame Dave Andreychuk did it during his brief stint with the B’s back in 1999. Now the Bruins head to Pittsburgh for a Sunday night showdown with the Penguins in their final game prior to getting five days off in the bye week for the Black and Gold. 

The combo of Ward and Darling ended up allowing seven goals on 28 shots on net, and amazingly had surrendered five goals on the first seven shots they faced in a game where the Hurricanes had absolutely no chance at a win. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE