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BOSTON (CBS) — We’re all simply running out of things to say about the Boston Bruins.
The team thought by many to be able to maybe get through the first round of the playoffs now sits one win away from playing for a Stanley Cup, and they got there in what is becoming typically unforgettable fashion.
For 95 minutes, the Bruins battled the Penguins. The Penguins were, without question, the better team for most of the night, as they were the ones in a 2-0 series hole with desperation on their side. The Bruins, meanwhile, were shorthanded for the majority of the night. After losing Gregory Campbell to an injury in the second period, head coach Claude Julien essentially shortened his bench to just three lines. It was a move that wasn’t intended for a game that would last for 35 extra minutes beyond regulation.
And in that time, the Bruins had to kill penalty after penalty, all without Campbell, who had already logged 3:45 of shorthanded time on ice. Thanks to Tuukka Rask’s 53 saves and some fortunate breaks, the Bruins stayed in the game, able to win it with just one quick burst.
The player to provide that burst? Patrice Bergeron, of course.
The man who had electrified this very building with the game-tying goal and overtime game-winner in Game 7 against Toronto, and the man who assisted on the overtime game-winning goal in Game 1 against the Rangers was now the man who found the energy to race past Brooks Orpik to redirect Brad Marchand’s pass past Tomas Vokoun and into the net for the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 3 against the Penguins.
“I’m pretty tired,” Bergeron said after the game, sporting the team’s Army Rangers jacket as the player of the game, “but it’s rewarding when you get the results.”
Now, the Bruins have a 3-0 series lead over the top-seeded and heavily favored Penguins, and they have yet another incredible moment to put in the scrapbook for the 2013 Stanley Cup playoff run.
This one came after 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr, on the ice for his 27th minute of the night, battled for the puck in the neutral zone and won it away from Evgeni Malkin.
Truthfully, both players would have gone off for hooking or holding calls if this were the second period of a game in December. But it was double overtime of a game in June, and so play continued.
Jagr passed to Brad Marchand, streaking up the left wing, while Bergeron drove to the net. Orpik saw Bergeron and decided to cut off his skating lane, but the former Boston College defenseman was too late. Bergeron got perfect position on Orpik, muscled his stick firmly to the ice surface and redirected the shot into the net. Once again, jubilation filled the TD Garden.
“Bergy, he does everything right,” said Marchand, who was the recipient of a similar Bergeron pass for the OT game-winner against the Rangers. “It’s the little things like that that make him such a great player. The way he drove to the net and Orpik, he’s a very big guy, very strong, the way [Bergeron] battled him and put that puck in, it shows that he can do everything. We’re lucky to have him.”
How far this playoff run goes will ultimately determine just where these games end up on the all-time list of Bruins moments. If it continues all the way through the Stanley Cup Final and ends with that 34.5-pound trophy making its way through Boston on the back of a Duck Boat, they’ll likely live on forever.
For now, we can’t know the future. Regardless, we certainly won’t forget any of these moments any time soon.