Watch: Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron receives ovation in Game 5 return, reunites with ‘Perfection Line’ in first period

Bergeron missed the first four games of the series. The TD Garden crowd was ready to welcome him back.

Patrice Bergeron received a warm welcome from Bruins fans in his return to the lineup in Game 5.

Patrice Bergeron is finally ready for playoff action — and the TD Garden crowd is happy to have the Bruins captain back in the fold.

After missing the first four games of Boston’s first-round series against the Panthers due to a nagging upper-body injury, Bergeron made his 2023 postseason debut in Game 5 on Wednesday night. 

Even though the 37-year-old center did not get the start on Causesway Street, his first shift of the evening just 1:11 into the contest drew an ovation from the stands. The cheers only grew louder after Bergeron subsequently won a faceoff in Boston’s D zone.

Bergeron opened his latest playoff campaign on a revamped top line next to Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pastrnak. His usual linemate, Brad Marchand, began on a heavier, puck-possession forward grouping with Charlie Coyle and Nick Foligno. 


But it didn’t take very long for Jim Montgomery to shuffle up his depth chart, as Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak were reunited for an offensive-zone shift midway through the first period.

Bergeron’s defensive acumen will be welcomed on Wednesday night, especially against an imposing Panthers forward corps. 

Bergeron opened his night with a shift against Florida’s top line of Aleksander Barkov, Anthony Duclair, and Carter Verhaeghe. He will likely also see plenty of reps against Florida’s top-scoring threat in Matthew Tkachuk. 

“He’s so important for us,” Taylor Hall said of Bergeron on Wednesday morning. “Obviously off the ice, being our captain and our leader and our emotional guy, but on the ice as well. I mean, he’s still such an amazing player and has such an impact. Especially if we’re on home ice tonight and he can match up against Tkachuk or whoever it may be and really make life hard on a guy like that.

“Tkachuk has been a huge part of this series for them, in spite of the fact that we still have a lead, he’s been very impressive. So if Bergy is in tonight, I think that’ll be a really good thing for us.”


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