Patrice Bergeron's 1,000th career game couldn't have been scripted any better.
Tuesday night vs the Islanders, Bergeron received a rousing ovation from the TD Garden crowd and then opened the B's scoring in the second period. The best moment, however, came when David Pastrnak let Bergeron finish his special night with an empty-netter.
After the game, Bergeron explained what all the support meant to him.
"It was special," Bergeron said. "Very much appreciated. It's been 16 years with the organization. [Boston] has a special place in my heart. My kids are born here. It's definitely second home now. It meant a lot."
Bergeron also had no problem sharing his night with the Super Bowl champion Patriots, who were honored during the pregame ceremony.
“Thank God," he said. "That was perfect. I was very happy with that.”
Pastrnak's classy gesture to wrap up Tuesday night's game perfectly summed up what teammates think of the 15-year Bruins veteran. Brad Marchand, who immediately retrieved the puck for Bergeron after his first goal, spoke highly of his longtime teammate.
"Did you really expect anything else?," Marchand said of Bergeron's performance. "That guy just steps up in every situation. You know he was going to have a big game on a milestone night like tonight, so it was great to see. He's one of the top players in the game for a reason, and he steps up in big moments, and he did that again tonight."
Also complimentary of the four-time Selke Trophy winner was B's coach Bruce Cassidy.
"I'm happy for Bergie," Cassidy said after Tuesday's game. "He's a consummate pro, a terrific person, terrific hockey player, terrific dad, I assume a terrific husband, all of the above."
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