The Boston Bruins got their biggest win of the season Thursday night without their best player in the lineup.
B’s forward Patrice Bergeron was a late scratch with an upper-body injury, but Boston still found a way to win Game 4 of its first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins now have a chance to close out the series Saturday night on home ice, and there’s a chance they’ll have Bergeron back.
Bergeron skated at the Bruins’ practice facility Friday morning, which obviously is a good sign. B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy said the team is “not ruling him out” for Game 5, obviously another positive.
If Bergeron feels anywhere near healthy, it’s a safe assumption he’ll want to be in the lineup. It might, however, behoove the Bruins to take it slow with the Selke Trophy finalist, at least for a game. The Bruins just proved they can win without Bergeron in the lineup, and if they were to win Saturday night, the extended rest probably will be well-suited.
Riley Nash, who returned from an ear injury earlier in the series, skated in Bergeron’s place on Boston’s top line in Game 4. Nash also centered that line when Bergeron missed 13 games earlier in the season with a broken foot, so it’s not unfamiliar territory for him and the Bruins.
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