Player of the Game: Bruins-Maple Leafs Game 7
From the 10 minute mark in the third period on, there were many Bruins players who stepped up their game in the historic comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist, Nathan Horton cutting the lead to two, Zdeno Chara logging 35:46 minutes of total ice time and the list goes on. But, one player, the leader of this team, recorded both the tying and game-winning goal in the overtime thriller – Patrice Bergeron.
Bergeron had two goals, one assist, six shots on net and logged 20:53 minutes of ice time. He proved once again why he is one of the best two-way players in the league – crashing the net minutes into the extra frame beating James Reimer with a wrist shot sending the TD Garden into an uproar.
Bergeron and his fellow linemates – Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand – were under much scrutiny heading into this game as they were invisible most of this series. But that one overtime shift should certainly give them a little more confidence going forward.
Bergeron spoke after the game on this being one of the craziest games he has ever played in.
“Yeah, for sure, it’s one of the craziest ones I’ve been a part of,” said the Bruins assistant captain. “We stayed resilient – I guess that’s what I can say. We found a way. Not necessarily the way we would’ve like to play the whole game, but like I said, we showed some character coming back in the game and we found a way in over time. We had the momentum, I thought, and our legs were back. It felt good.”
Bergeron was satisfied of scoring the game-winning goal, but it is something he does not think about anymore.
“You learn from the past,” he said. “That’s always something that I’ve tried to do-learning from the experience good or bad. That time, I’d like to see that one again, but it’s last year. This year I was confident and I felt good. I had some really good looks throughout the series. I had to put the puck in and it didn’t go in, but if you keep working at it, the bounces are going to go your way at some point and it did when it mattered, I guess.”
Bergeron tallied 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) during the regular season, but he may not have scored two bigger goals in 2013 than he did Monday night.
The Bruins leaders and big-name players came up big tonight: Lucic, Chara, Horton, Rask and certainly Bergeron. This win will give them confidence as a group heading into their second round series with the New York Rangers beginning Thursday night at TD Garden.
“It gives you a lot of confidence when you’re able to come back from a three-goal deficit in one period-and late in the period, too,” Bergeron said. “It gives us confidence heading into the second round. We’ve said it before, the first round is a tough one to go through. We found a way and now it’s all about the second round.”
The Bruins were the first team in NHL history to come back from a three-goal deficit in the third period in a Game 7. It was an incredible scene at TD Garden and B’s fans can thank Bergeron for his heroics-scoring the tying and game-winning goal.
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