|Healthy or not, here comes Patrice Bergeron||04.22.12 at 7:54 pm ET|
WASHINGTON — Patrice Bergeron wasn’t 100 percent healthy on Sunday, and it was (we’ll go without the “painfully” pun) obvious.
The best faceoff man in the league during the regular season was unable to take draws on Sunday, and in his place, Rich Peverley handled faceoffs and most of the day at center while Bergeron played wing.
Bergeron was hurt in the third period of Game 5 on Saturday, as he left the game after three third-period shifts. The Bruins didn’t say what his injury was, and Bergeron didn’t prepare as if it would keep him out.
“Ah, no,” Bergeron said when asked whether he doubted he would be able to play on Sunday.
Added Bergeron: “I [knew] was playing yesterday.”
Though Bergeron was banged up and took two offensive zone penalties, he still came through with a big game for the B’s. He assisted on Peverley’s first-period goal and nearly ended the game in overtime before Tyler Seguin got the chance. Just 2:16 into overtime — 1:01 before Seguin’s goal — Bergeron redirected a shot that beat Braden Holtby but hit the crossbar.
Perhaps the defining moment of Bergeron’s game, though, came late in regulation. The Bruins iced the puck with 1:02 left in a 3-3 game. The faceoff was coming in the Bruins’ zone, and a Capitals goal — they had scored earlier in the period off a faceoff win — would have likely ended the series.
To Bergeron’s left? Brad Marchand. To his right? Brian Rolston. No Peverley, no other center out there to take the draw. Rather than trusting the most important faceoff of the season to a winger, Bergeron broke protocol and took the draw. He won.
“Well, I kind of had to right?” Bergeron said when asked if he made the call to take the faceoff. “It was on that side and Pevs was not on the ice.
Finally, he took credit.
“Yeah, I made the call,” he said.
Bergeron will have two days to rest up and get healthy for Game 7 Wednesday at the Garden.
|Seguin says seven: Bruins stay alive||04.22.12 at 6:22 pm ET|
WASHINGTON — It wasn’t pretty, but the Bruins found their way to Game 7.
After blowing three separate one-goal leads, the Bruins were redeemed by a Tyler Seguin goal 3:17 into overtime to give them a 4-3 win Sunday and force a Game 7 with the Capitals, which will be played Wednesday at TD Garden.
The game was tied at 2 late, and with the Bruins driving to the net, Andrew Ference banged home a rebound off a Seguin shot to give the Bruins the lead shortly after the team had killed off a Benoit Pouliot penalty. The Capitals then tied it with less than five minutes remaining when Alexander Ovechkin beat Tim Thomas following a Nicklas Backstrom faceoff win in the Boston zone. That set up Seguin’s OT heroics.
The Bruins had initially taken the lead in the first period on a goal from Rich Peverley. Mike Green tied it later in the period, and David Krejci scored his first goal of the postseason to give the B’s a 2-1 lead after one. Jason Chimera tied it late in the second period before Ference eventually broke the tie.
Thomas made 35 saves on 38 shots in regulation, while Braden Holtby made 28 regulation saves for Washington.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— The Bruins got a power-play goal for the second straight game when Krejci gave the B’s the 2-1 lead in the first period. With two goals on the man advantage this series, the 2011-12 Bruins scoff at last year’s 0-for-21 effort in seven games against the Canadiens. The Bruins finished the day 1-for-5.
— After a woefully quiet and frustrating first five games of the series, Krejci finally got one. Remember, he also went the entire first round last postseason against the Habs without a goal. That means Sunday’s second-period tally was Krejci’s first goal in the first round of the playoffs since April 26, 2010, against the Sabres, a span of 13 first-round games.
— After a poor showing in Game 5, Thomas was better for the B’s on Sunday. He came up especially big for the Bruins in the second period, when he made 14 saves in a period in which the B’s were outshot, 15-5. The best save of the day for Thomas came in the second period when he dove across his net to stop Marcus Johansson with the blade of his stick.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— Greg Zanon has had a pretty rough go of it this postseason, and his bad fortune continued on Green’s first-period goal. With Gregory Campbell laying out to block a potential shot, Green waited until he had space before firing a shot from the left point at the bodies in front of the net. The puck went off Zanon and into the net, tying the game at 9:47 of the first period. The Zanon-Mike Mottau pairing did not play get another first-period shift following the play and got very few shifts afterward.
— Bergeron returned to the lineup, but he was clearly limited. He only took one faceoff in the game (which occurred in the final minute of regulation), instead deferring those duties to Rich Peverley. As far as Bergeron’s game went, he twice committed the no-no of an offensive-zone penalty. Bergeron went off at 10:01 of the first period for tripping Karl Alzner and returned to the box at 15:44 of the second for high-sticking Alexander Semin.
— The fourth line also was on the ice for Washington’s first goal. Perhaps because of Bergeron’s injury, Claude Julien played Jordan Caron in place of Shawn Thornton. A potential reason for the move may have been that because Bergeron was clearly limited, the team would need another top-six-caliber forward should he exit the game once again.
— The Capitals got the game-tying goal on an ugly play for the Bruins. By the looks of how he went down, it looked like Brad Marchand was elbowed by Chimera in the Capitals’ zone. While Chimera finished the play by scoring, the Bruins did not. Marchand went down to the ice, grabbing his head but getting no call. Replays showed that contact might not have been made, but Marchand did catch himself in the face with his stick when he spun.
— For the second straight game, Pouliot took an offensive-zone penalty in the third period of a tied game. Pouliot left his feet as he finished his check a little too late on Alzner at 8:50, resulting in a roughing call that gave the Caps a great opportunity. The B’s got through the two minutes safely, effectively killing off the penalty.
|Bruins-Capitals Game 6 Live Blog: Patrice Bergeron a go for B’s||04.22.12 at 3:11 pm ET|
|Patrice Bergeron and Joe Corvo will take warmups||04.22.12 at 2:08 pm ET|
WASHINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien did not indicate Sunday whether center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Joe Corvo will be in the team’s lineup for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Capitals, but he did say the two will take the ice for warmups.
Both players left Saturday’s 4-3 loss due to injury, as Corvo was hurt blocking a shot in the second period and Bergeron left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury.
Both Jordan Caron and Mike Mottau will also take warmups for the B’s, as will blueliner Andrew Bodnarchuk.
|Bruins shed light on do-or-die Game 6||04.22.12 at 1:42 pm ET|
WASHINGTON — The Bruins will need to win Sunday against the Capitals to avoid elimination and force a Game 7 on Sunday. Prior to the game, players spoke of the desperation with which the team must play.
“Obviously it’s a desperate situation, but you go out and play your game,” forward Brian Rolston said. “You just have to say calm and just play hockey.”
Though Rolston was not on the Stanley Cup-winning 2010-11 team, the 39-year-old is among the veterans whose experience the team can rely on. The B’s went 1-2 in Game 6’s last year, winning their only must-win Game 6 when they beat the Canucks, 5-2, at TD Garden to stay alive in the Stanley Cup finals.
“It’s been a tight series,” he said. “There’s been a lot of guys in our dressing room that have been through it and been in situations like this. It’s a matter of how we play our game and execute our game plan. That’s what we have to do tonight and we’ll be prepared for that.”
Fourth-line forward Daniel Paille, who scored for the B’s in their Game 3 victory, said Bruins must take the ice with an “everything-you-got attitude.”
“Right now we’re playing for the season, and there’s nothing better than for us to play with that kind of mentality. It’s unfortunate that we’re in this position right now, but it’s what we’ve got to work with.”
|Patrice Bergeron arrives early for Game 6||04.22.12 at 12:21 pm ET|
WASHINGTON — The Bruins’ best forward will at the very least be at Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Patrice Bergeron, who left Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Capitals in the third period, was spotted by multiple reporters as he entered the Verizon Center by himself before noon. He could be early to undergo treatment or to be examined by team doctors.
Bergeron, who led the NHL with a plus-36 rating in the regular season, took only three shifts in the third period Saturday. After the game, coach Claude Julien did not indicate how Bergeron suffered the injury or what the injury was, but Bergeron could have been hurt on a third-period hit he took from Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin.
|Capitals take Game 5, Bruins a loss away from elimination||04.21.12 at 5:53 pm ET|
Troy Brouwer’s second goal of the day put the Capitals one win away from eliminating the Bruins as Washington took a 3-2 series lead with Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Bruins.
With Benoit Pouliot in the box for a highly questionable slashing call, Brouwer beat Thomas with a wrist shot after the Bruins had come back twice in the game.
Johnny Boychuk wasn’t supposed to be on the Bruins’ power play, but they were lucky he was. With both Patrice Bergeron and Joe Corvo dealing with injuries, Tyler Seguin was moved up to the top power play unit and Brad Marchand and Boychuk were moved onto the second unit for a third-period power play with the B’s trailing by one. Boychuk tied the game with a blast from the left point that beat Brayden Holtby and send the Garden into a frenzy. The goal was Boston’s first power-play tally this series.
After a scoreless first period, Washington took a 2-0 lead on a couple of bad breaks for the Bruins in the second period. Joe Corvo was in obvious pain after blocking a shot from Marcus Johansson, and Alexendar Semin buried a rebound in front. Johnny Boychuk then contested a Jay Beagle shot, forcing it to skip and find its way past Tim Thomas. The Bruins then tied the game with two goals in a 28-second span, getting tallies from Dennis Seidenberg and Marchand.
The teams will have another day game Sunday when they take the ice for Game 6 at 3 p.m. at the Verizon Center. If necessary, Game 7 will be played on Wednesday at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Tyler Seguin once again had a better effort than he did in his first three games, but he wasn’t able to bury two big opportunities in the third period. He was robbed by Holtby on what was perhaps the save of the series when the rookie goaltenbder somehow got his right pad on Seguin’s rebound bid in front. Seguin had a similar opportunity in the final 10 minutes of the game but missed the net.
– Watch Patrice Bergeron going forward, as he played sparingly late in the game.
– The refs missed a call in the final minute of the first period, as Jason Chimera got Zdeno Chara with an elbow to the back of the head in the corner that went unpunished. Chara remained down on the ice for a few seconds before eventually getting up and skating off at the end of the period.
– Speaking of things missed, it looked like Alexander Ovechkin cross-checked a Bruins player up high again. This time, it came against Chara, as the two were going at it at the end of a shift in 4-on-4 play in the first period. Chara was the only player penalized on the play, as he was sent of for roughing, giving the Capitals a 4-on-3.
Chara now has four minor penalties in five games this postseason.
– Speaking of posts and special teams, Daniel Paille had his latest shorthanded breakaway in the first period when Chara was in the box. With Dennis Wideman giving chase, Paille had Holtby beat but hit the left post.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Once they took the 2-0 lead, the Capitals were in perfect position to sit back, shut it down in the neutral zone and block shots in their own zone. A pass from David Krejci to Lucic through the neutral zone changed that, as Lucic took the feed at the blue line, entered the Washington zone and dished to Seidenberg. Marchand tied it up 28 seconds later.
– The Bruins are now 1-for-15 — progress — on the power play this series after going 1-for-3 on Saturday. The top unit of Chara, Rich Peverley, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic looked better than in games past, as they stayed in the Washington zone, moved the puck well and got solid opportunities. Chara had a couple of bombs from the top of the right circle on the B’s first power play, but one rang off the post and the other was stopped by Karl Alzner.
– Marchand did not play on the fourth line after skating with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton in Friday’s practice and Saturday’s warmups. He skated with Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley while Daniel Paille remained with Thornton and Campbell.