Patrice Bergeron didn’t record a point in the Bruins’ 2-0 win in Game 3 Thursday night, but his presence was a welcome sign for the Black and Gold.
In over 19 minutes of ice time, Bergeron notched two shots and was very effective in the faceoff circle, winning 64 percent of his draws — 18-10 — with the majority coming against Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier. Bergeron was also instrumental in the Bruins’ penalty kill as they held Tampa to just three power play shots.
Bergeron, who returned to the ice for the first time since suffering a mild concussion nearly a couple of weeks ago after the Bruins’ series clinching sweep over the Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, felt good in his first game back despite missing the first two games of the series.
“I felt pretty good,” he said to Versus sideline reporter Joe Michelletti during his postgame interview. “I had confidence in me that I could do it. I knew I wasn’t 100 percent, but I just tried to go out there and play my game.”
Though Tampa outshot Boston 31-25, the Bruins’ defense was stellar in their own zone allowing very few quality opportunities to the Bolts.
“We did a good job as a team being hard on the forecheck, but in our zone, staying inside and not giving them many opportunites in the slot,” Bergeron said to Michelletti.
The Bruins, who are now 5-1 on the road this postseason, now have a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven and can put the Lightning in a distinct disadvantage in Game 4 Saturday afternoon by taking a three games to one lead.
“It’s about team effort,” Bergeron said on Versus. “In the playoffs it’s about making sure everyone chips in, and I think that’s what we did [tonight].”
With the presence of Bergeron, Tim Thomas — who earned his first shutout of the playoffs Thursday — David Krejci and (more recently) Tyler Seguin, there’s a good reason for optimism. But the Black and Gold know that there’s a lot of work left to be done before they set their eyes on an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals.