Patrice Bergeron Shines for Boston Bruins in Return

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 22: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden on December 22, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup for the Boston Bruins game against the Nashville Predators after suffering an upper-body injury in November. The game was only Bergeron’s 20th of the season and he had 9 goals and 17 assists for the Bruins before the puck dropped.

Patrice Bergeron shines for Boston Bruins in return

Late in the first period, Bergeron scored his 10th goal of the year to put the Bruins up 1-0. Then, just only 1:44 into the second frame, Bergeron scored again for his 11th of the season that reclaimed the lead for Boston. Bergeron’s second of the game was also the 300th goal of his 15-year NHL career.

In the third period, the newly reunited power play line of Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak connected to tack on another point for the alternate captain. Bergeron kept the puck in the zone, fired it to Pastrnak, who then sauced it over to Marchand. Marchand’s goal was the 12th of the season for him and was the eventual game-winner in the Bruins 5-2 win.

For the Bruins fourth goal, Bergeron knocked the puck loose to Marchand, who skated up for a 2-on-1 goal by Pastrnak, but was not credited with a point.

Edit: Bergeron was given credit on the Bruins fourth goal a few hours after the game, making it a four-point day for him.

Bergeron’s Impact

Bergeron coming back into the lineup is a major help to the roster. Aside from his individual skill and leadership, Bergeron coming back to the top line makes the Bruins a serious threat again. The Bruins shook up the lines a bit against Nashville, but they have the option to get their most dangerous line back together if they are in need of a key goal.

Him coming back also means that the players who stepped up can assume their regular position.

David Krejci stepped up big for the Bruins in the absence of Bergeron, recording five goals and nine assists during the time Bergeron was out. Krejci’s skill on the second line allows for the players around him to get better, like Joakim Nordstrom, who has room to improve with five goals and two assists in 35 games.

Pieces Still Missing

Captain Zdeno Chara is still out with a lower-body injury that he suffered in mid-November. He, along with Kevan Miller are the two big missing pieces for the Bruins defence. So while Bergeron’s return helps the offence greatly, the B’s will still suffer on the back end until their other key players return.

Bruins in the Standings

Even with the win over the Predators, the Bruins are still sitting in the first Wild Card spot. But they are gaining on the Buffalo Sabres, who have the third spot in the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins are right where they are expected to be as of now, as they lost 4-2 to the Sabres in their last meeting and then beat the team directly under them, the Montreal Canadiens, 4-0 a day later.

What’s Next for Boston

Bergeron back in the lineup means that there will be a boost of confidence for the team heading forward. Additionally, the Bruins have games against the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils that they can use to try a combination of lines and build confidence there before they play the Sabres again to end the calendar year.

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