When he stepped on the ice, he became the 120th player in NHL history to play 1,200 career games.
“I guess I’ve been around for a while — that’s probably the one thing,” Bergeron said. “It’s been a long road, but it went fast for the first 1,200. It’s kind of crazy to think. I guess, appreciate the moment and be thankful for everything I’ve been able to go through.”
Bergeron is the third player in Bruins history to reach that milestone. Ray Bourque spent the first 21 years of his career in Boston and played 1,518 games before finishing his career with two years in Colorado. After playing 104 games with the Red Wings his first two years in the league, Johnny Bucyk played 1,436 over 21 years with the Bruins.
Bergeron has played all 1,200 in a Bruins uniform.
“It’s special,” Bergeron said. “Especially being an original six team and a storied franchise, being around for and having a chance to meet those guys — Bucyk and Bourque and [Bobby] Orr and all the greats. To me, it’s an honor and something that I don’t take lightly to be a Boston Bruin and it definitely is special.”
In his return to the ice, Bergeron said he felt no ill effects from the infection. He chipped in his 29th assist of the season on Brad Marchand’s second-period goal and won 10 of 18 faceoffs.
The Bruins were able to hold down the fort in Bergeron’s absence, going 3-1 without him.
“I think everyone is playing the right way, contributing,” Bergeron said. “I can see the growth in our team in the way we’re playing. Guys owning their roles and playing the right way and doing it for the right reasons — obviously to win and for the team — so it’s great to see.”
“It’s good,” he said. “Good first test and it felt fine.”
The Bruins got contributions across all lines, but the Taylor Hall–Erik Haula–David Pastrnak combination continued to pour in production.
Hall scored his 14th goal of the season and added two assists, Haula scored his ninth goal of the season and chipped in his 23rd assist, and Pastrnak scored his 37th goal of the season and handed out his 29th assist.
Over the past month, Hall’ has posted a 2-8—10 line, Haula’s gone 2-9—11, and Pastrnak’s gone 9-4—13.
“They can all make plays,” Cassidy said. “Listen, they’re good players. They’re going to have stretches where it goes well for them, the pucks going to go in. Other times, it’s not. When it doesn’t last long, that’s a good sign.”
Hampus Lindholm a playmaker
Trade deadline addition Hampus Lindholm continued to make a positive early impression. He was plus-1 with two shots on goal and three hits in 20:38 of ice time.
In his second game as a Bruin, Lindholm was back on the top defensive pairing with Charlie McAvoy.
“I think every D-pair has an identity and Lindy and Chuck are only going to get better and better,” Hall said. “With Lindholm, you see the first two games, he’s always looking to make a play. Some of those little plays — breaking pucks out, taking a hit to make a play, jumping up in the rush those are invaluable, especially when you’re out there with that pair. You see 73 and 27 out, it’s time to make plays, it’s time to play in the O-zone and see what you can make happen.”
Hall, who joined the Bruins last year at the trade deadline, could relate to Lindholm’s situation. Hall signed a four-year, $24 million contract in the offseason. Lindholm was able to sign an eight-year, $52 million extension the day after being traded.
“It’s one thing to come in and not know what’s in store after the season,” Hall said. “but I think it’s another to come in and know that you’re going to be with this group for a long time. You feel more at ease.
“You can say things in the locker room and apply your voice when needed. He’s been around a long time. He’s played in a lot of playoff games, and you can see that when the game gets a little bit rough or whatever may happen, he’s got a lot of poise.”
Julian Benbow can be reached at [email protected]