Bruins

Patrice Bergeron ‘not thinking about’ if he’s playing his final games for the Bruins

The Bruins' captain and Brad Marchand shined in Boston's Game 4 win over Carolina to even the series.

Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins will have at least one more game at home this season. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Entering Mother’s Day weekend, a common question among fans and media was whether or not Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron would be playing his final games in Boston.

The Bruins delayed that from possibly becoming reality for at least a few more days. Boston won both games at home to even its series against the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-2, to ensure that the Bruins will play at home again in Game 6.

While many have wondered if the 36-year-old will retire at season’s end, Bergeron said that the possibility of playing his final games in Boston this weekend wasn’t used as motivation to win.

“I’m not thinking about that, to be honest with you,” Bergeron said. “I think I’ve been doing a good job of doing that all year. It was no different this afternoon, to be honest with you. It was a great afternoon game. The kids can be here. I was enjoying that. I was looking forward to the game and kind of excited. And happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.”

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Bergeron played a hand in making sure that Game 5 wouldn’t be an elimination game for the Bruins. Down 1-0 in the first period, Bergeron went five-hole to score one past Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta.

The Bruins trailed again in the second period before Bergeron assisted on Jake DeBrusk’s power-play goal to tie the game, 2-2. With less than a minute left in the second, Bergeron inadvertently helped the team by catching a high stick from Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho, which drew blood and a double minor that gave the Bruins a 5-on-3.

As blood dripped down his face, Bergeron pleaded to remain on the ice. But the officials told him he had to go to the locker room because they stopped play so he could get treated. That moment was just one of many in Game 4 that stood out to Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy that exemplified Bergeron’s leadership ability.

“We’ve talked about Bergy a lot around here. We know what he means to the team. What he brings to the team. He’s a high intellect player,” Cassidy said. “Every area tonight [he stepped up]. Faceoff circle, he had a monster night against a real good team (won 70 percent of his faceoffs).

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“He’s got the ‘C’ on his sweater for a reason. Again, we don’t win very many nights without him being who he is. He’s been excellent the whole series. He’s the oldest guy on our team, right? Some days, he looks like the youngest. So, credit to him.”

Bergeron’s longtime line partner Brad Marchand did his part to ensure that the Boston crowd would have at least another game to see. He scored during the 5-on-3 opportunity early in the third period to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead. The Bergeron-Marchand tandem worked their magic less than five minutes later when both assisted on David Pastrnak’s goal to give the Bruins a 4-2 lead. Marchand sealed the deal by scoring an empty netter with less than a minute left to give Boston a 5-2 lead.

The empty-netter gave Marchand five points on the day, a new playoff career-high. His performance on Sunday came after he scored a goal and dished out two assists in Friday’s Game 3.

Bergeron wasn’t surprised by Marchand’s play over the weekend.

“Yeah, that’s what he does. That’s who he is,” Bergeron said. “I think he’s always finding a way to get better. He takes it upon himself to find a way to help the team in any way that he can. He always rises up to the occasion when there’s a big moment. There’s no surprises there.

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After going down 2-0, the Bruins have made it a best-of-three series. If Boston wins Game 5 on Tuesday in Carolina, it can close out the series at home against in Game 6 on Thursday, which would ensure at least two more home games for Bergeron.

That’s way too far in advance though for Bergeron to consider.

“It’s a long series,” Bergeron said. “You want to take it a game at a time. That’s what we’re doing. We’re focusing on the present every time.”

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