Clutch Patrice Bergeron comes up big in a series-clincher once again

Evan Marinofsky
May 17, 2019 - 6:48 am

If the Bruins are in a series-clinching game, it's safe to assume Patrice Bergeron will step up. 

And that's exactly what took place on Thursday night. 

In the Bruins' 4-0 win over the Hurricanes to cap off an Eastern Conference Final sweep, Bergeron recorded two goals and an assist. His linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak added a combined total of two goals and three assists. 

The Bruins' top trio recorded eight points in Game 4. 

"Yeah, it's good," said Bergeron to WBZ regarding his line's success in the win. "At this time of the year in the playoffs it's about whatever it takes. You want results and you want wins." 

The biggest knock on Bergeron throughout this series, and throughout the playoffs as well, is that his even-strength scoring output has been low, even if he's been keeping opposing top lines off the score sheet as well. But in Game 4, Bergeron added a lamp-lighter and an assist at 5-on-5. 

In his last eight series-clinching games, he's scored eight goals and 14 points. 

"Sometimes you've got to play a little bit more defense," said Bergeron to WBZ. "Sometimes you get some more opening on the offense and that was the case for us and we stepped up and it was a big win overall." 

Defense. Defense. Defense. That is the exact reason Bergeron's been underrated in this series. 

Here comes my nightly point when it comes to matchups. Ready? 

Because of Bruce Cassidy's emphasis on line matchups, Bergeron's been tasked with shutting down the Sebastian Aho line. Through the first three games of the series, Bergeron and Aho were on the ice for 12:51 of 5-on-5 play. There were only two shot attempts for the Hurricanes during that time. 

In Game 4, Bergeron's line mainly went against the Andrei Svechnikov-Jordan Staal-Teuvo Teravainen line and once again, he shut down three of the Canes' best six forwards. When it came to Corsi-for percentages, Svechnikov came in at 57.69%, Staal at 46.15% Teravainen at 48.48%. 

Not a great last day at the office for those three. 

Opposing Hurricanes players never seemed to be able to crack Bergeron and his brick wall of a line. The high-danger chances were low and the shots from the outside were high. The lopsidedness of the Bergeron line against any from Carolina was one problem Rod Brind'Amour never had the answer to. 

After a series full of defense, Bergeron's Game 4 was one that had offense too and it stretched past just his points total. His Corsi-for percentage was a 66.67% -- good for the top mark on the team. His 78.57% Fenwick-for percentage and Expected Goals-for of 0.94 both ranked second on the squad. 

Just like every other series-clincher, Bergeron was clutch.

And in Game 4, it was at both ends of the ice.

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