The Bruins scored four goals in the third to beat Philadelphia 5-1, completing a four-game sweep of the Flyers and advancing to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1992.
But just before Johnny Boychuk scored the first of those third-period goals, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron left the game with an undisclosed injury.
Bergeron was hit deep in the Boston zone by Flyers forward Claude Giroux. Bergeron stayed down briefly, then skated off on his own power. But he went directly to the locker room and did not return to the game. After the victory, Bruins coach Claude Julien had no information on his condition.
"I don't know," Julien said. "I have no update for you guys right now."
No one on the Bruins seemed to know exactly what happened to Bergeron. Goalie Tim Thomas was the closest Bruin to the play, but he didn't see the hit, just the aftermath.
"I didn't see what happened," Thomas said. "I knew he had the puck and I saw him make the pass and I didn't see anyone around him. I don't know if it was a late hit, or just a guy I didn't see. But when I saw him down, of course I was worried."
That sentiment was shared throughout the Bruins' locker room.
"I didn't really see what happened, but it's always scary when a guy leaves the game," Brad Marchand said. "You're concerned. He's probably feeling it, but I'm sure he'll be fine."
And even without their leading scorer so far in the playoffs, the Bruins pushed on to close out the series.
"We were obviously concerned about Bergy, but we were more focused on not having to go back to Philly and finishing it tonight," Marchand said. "It was great that we were able to do that."
They were able to do it thanks in large part to the depth the club possesses up front. With Bergeron out, the Bruins had to shuffle their lines, with third-line left wing Chris Kelly moving up to Bergeron's spot between Marchand and Mark Recchi and fourth-line center Gregory Campbell sliding into Kelly's spot on the third line alongside Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder.
"You have to be ready for those kinds of things," Julien said. "Chris Kelly is a very reliable player, a lot like Bergy. A great two-way player, he's put up some decent points and he's also been extremely reliable defensively, so it was an easy fit there. And [Greg] Soupy Campbell's been a really good player for us too. He competes hard and is very reliable. So you're able to move those guys around and know that they're going to do the job."
Marchand, who scored the first of two late empty-net goals to ice it, had no problem transitioning to playing with Kelly.
"He's an easy guy to play with," Marchand said. "He works very hard. He keeps it simple, but he can make plays at the same time. He's a lot like Bergy in a lot of ways. They both work very hard and are real strong on the puck."
The Bruins now just hope they won't have to play without Bergeron for any length of time as they head into their first conference final in nearly two decades.
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