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Bruce Cassidy on Patrice Bergeron: 'He's a shooter this year'

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Bruce Cassidy on Patrice Bergeron: 'He's a shooter this year'

BOSTON – Patrice Bergeron just keeps on scoring, and keeps on pushing his way into the Hart Trophy conversation. 

The Bruins No. 1 center scored two more goals, including the third period game-winner, in Boston’s 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Tuesday night, and has entered into the NHL’s top-10 in scoring with his 27 goals this season. Bergeron is currently tied with Calgary’s Sean Monahan for ninth with his team-leading 27 goals, and now has 17 goals in his last 19 games in a hot streak.

Sure, Bergeron’s 51 points have him tied for 30th in the NHL with just a couple of months left in the regular season, but we’re also talking about the league’s best defensive forward, and the center on the NHL’s best forward line that’s also on pace for a career-high 41 goals and 78 points this season. He may not win the top spot in points around the NHL, but the Hart Trophy is given out to the league’s most valuable player, not the guy with the most points. 

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“I don’t know, yeah I’m trying to shoot more. I’m trying to put the puck on net. Obviously when you’re in a tight game you’re trying to make a difference and trying to find a way. Our line tried to make something happen,” said Bergeron. “That’s what we’re on the ice for and we were fortunate enough to get the fourth one and the power play we always talk about doing the job – that was a great pass from Torey.

“It’s hard to really compare from one year to another, I think. I’m going out there and I’m trying to help my team every night and trying to push myself like I mentioned, and be better. I think my line mates and my teammates are pushing me to do that. I need to carry that on, I guess.”

Bergeron also leads the Bruins with five game-winning goals on the season after his clutch work in the final 20 minutes of Tuesday night’s win: He sniped home a beautiful shot off the rush on the power play for the game-winner, and then iced the game with a beautiful tip of a Brad Marchand point shot that tucked right under the crossbar. 

Put it all together and it’s another highlight-filled game in a season that’s shaping up to be Bergeron’s best ever at 32-year-old. 

“He’s been doing it for years, so there’s no surprise there,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Good timing this year. Bergy is hot. He’s a shooter this year, and it’s finding the back of the net, so good for him. The power-play goal is something we saw in the first period on the entries; they were jamming us at the blue line, so we made a little adjustment, thought we could sneak behind them, and [Torey] Krug executed a great pass and perfect timing. 

“So, we got in behind them and, we were able to capitalize. Like I said, Bergy, from that area of the ice, he’s lights out this year and getting rewarded for hitting the net, first of all, and putting it in a tough spot for the goalie to handle.”

The Bruins have to hope that Bergeron continuing to push himself keeps leading to the increased production, and keeps No. 37 in the conversation for all the heavy hardware handed out to the league’s best players at the end of the year.

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Zdeno Chara pays tribute to father in emotional Instagram post after Bruins' win

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USA TODAY Sports

Zdeno Chara pays tribute to father in emotional Instagram post after Bruins' win

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara knows a lot of people have helped him become a future Hall of Fame player in the NHL.

His father is right at, or near the top of the list.

After Chara made history by scoring the 200th goal of his career in Boston's 7-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, the B's defenseman took to Instagram to pay tribute to his dad and thank him for all the help he's provided. Check out the photo below: 

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Past few days has been overwhelming. First my birthday,then contract extension and last night clinching the play offs. As soon as I got to my locker I saw a text from my Father. My dad is an old school tough guy. He raised me with tough love and literally beat my ass at home and kick it in the gym.He showed me what hard work is and what it takes to get where you want to be. Never took it easy on me. I hated it then,but I am grateful for it,because hard work and discipline its part of who I am. I called him on the plane. To hear my Dad expressed his happiness and love felt good. He was bugging me about 200 for a while,so when I scored last it felt good cause that goal was for him. This is for you Dad. Love you. PS: Thanks for all the kicks in my ass ! LoL 😂 #dad #toughlove #200

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Chara also signed a one-year contract extension Saturday to remain with the Bruins through the end of next season. The 42-year-old veteran remains one of the better defensemen in the league, and his value to the B's during even strength, the power play and penalty kill is immense. His leadership on and off the ice sets a great example for the entire team as well.

The Bruins clinched a playoff spot with Saturday's win. It will be their ninth playoff appearance in the 12 seasons since Chara came to Boston, and he's been the driving force of the team's success over that span.

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Recapping milestones Bruins hit with playoff-clinching win vs. Panthers

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Recapping milestones Bruins hit with playoff-clinching win vs. Panthers

The Boston Bruins secured a Stanley Cup playoff berth with Saturday night's 7-3 win over the Florida Panthers, and they set, tied or extended a few milestones as a result.

Here's a recap of the notable Bruins milestones from the playoff-clinching victory.

--The Bruins will soon make their 72nd appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Only the Montreal Canadiens (83) have made more appearances.
--The Bruins will be the third team in NHL history to play in 100 best-of-7 playoff series.
--Boston improved its record to 46-20-9 for 101 points. It represents the Bruins' 23rd 100-point season in history, extending their own league record. The next closest teams are the Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers with 19 100-point seasons.
--The Bruins almost certainly will play the Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens in Round 1. If that happens, it will be the seventh time in their last 10 playoff appearances that the Bruins have faced a Canadian team in the first round. Boston is 4-2 in the previous six matchups. There's about a 98% chance the Bruins will play the Leafs in Round 1 for the second consecutive year.

The Bruins cannot catch the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division, so their next goal is clinching home ice advantage in Round 1.

This is a very important objective for the B's given their success at TD Garden this season -- Boston owns a 28-7-3 home record. Home ice also proved to be a huge factor in the B's beating the Leafs in their 2013 and 2018 first-round playoff series, both of which ended with a Game 7 victory in Boston.

So, while the Bruins' first major objective of the regular season has been accomplished, there's still work to be done over the final seven games.

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