BOSTON — Usually, Patrice Bergeron can be relied upon to play a pretty clean game, but Saturday he was responsible for a game-altering penalty.
A little under three minutes into the second overtime period, Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones tried to carry the puck out from deep in Columbus’ defensive zone. Bergeron’s stick caught Jones and sent him tumbling to the ice, resulting in a tripping penalty.
Just 43 seconds later, Matt Duchene put home a rebound to give the Blue Jackets the 3-2 win in Game 2 of the second round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Although it’s tough to get on Bergeron too much given his demonstrated history of not making those types of mistakes, there’s no denying that it was something he probably could have avoided.
After the game, the B’s center was critical of himself for the infraction.
“You work hard to put yourself in a good position throughout the game, tight game, obviously it’s on me, try to avoid the penalty and that’s it. It’s a tough loss but we got to move forward,” Bergeron said.
“The stick got caught,” Bergeron later said. “Obviously it’s one of those plays that you make many times and it’s not going to happen but my stick shouldn’t be there at this point of the game.”
Two of Columbus’ three goals came on the power play, and the Blue Jackets had two more opportunities on the man advantage at other points. And considering the Bruins blew two leads during regulation, things shouldn’t fall squarely on Bergeron for a mistake in the 83rd minute of play.
Either way, there’s no questioning the Bruins have things to clean up before the puck drops Tuesday in Game 3.