BOSTON — Patrice Bergeron came into Thursday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings without a goal through seven games. He exited his eighth tied for the team lead in goals after recording a natural hat trick and tacking on a fourth in the Boston Bruins’ 5-1 victory at TD Garden.
Such a night was a long time coming for the veteran. His drought especially was highlighted at the start of the season, as his linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each opened on a four-game point streak. But make no mistake — there was never any doubt in the Bruins locker room that it was coming.
“He’s too good of a player to keep him down for long,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win. “I think Bergy’s had some looks that haven’t gone in on as many as we’d all like … Sometimes you get one, it snowballs a little bit. We sort of knew that sooner or later that would happen.”
Marchand, who was credited with assists on all four of Bergeron’s goals, shared a similar assessment.
“It’s a matter of time,” Marchand said. “He’s such a dominant player in the league. He’s had a lot of good looks early on, it’s just sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. Everything he touched tonight went in. So for him, it’s just a matter of time. When he gets on a roll, he really gets on a roll.”
Bergeron didn’t sweat it, citing his experience as an 18-year pro. And while he has plenty of experience in the NHL, it’s worth noting that he never took longer than seven games to pot his first goal (2008, 2010, 2011).
“Honestly, I think it’s one of those things where I’ve been in the league long enough to know that it’s gonna come back,” Bergeron said. “I have the experience that I can rely on. I think it’s about making sure you don’t force plays or you don’t try to think about the end result but really go back to the details, making sure you play the right way, put yourself in good position and eventually it’s gonna come your way.
“That’s how I was approaching it and ultimately you want to produce, but with that being said I think the last thing that you can do is put pressure on your shoulders. That’s gonna make it worse for yourself.”
While Bergeron certainly made up for lost time by scoring four goals in one night, he must be hoping he left something in the tank moving forward as the Bruins prepare to face the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in Canada this weekend.
Here are other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Red Wings game:
— For what it’s worth, Cassidy predicted that David Pastrnak — the only player on the top line to go without a point in Thursday’s game — is the next player to snap a scoreless streak. After a hot start, Pastrnak hasn’t ended up on the scoresheet in four straight games.
— Mike Reilly scored his first goal as a Bruin in impressive fashion, logging a shorthanded goal at 8:10 of the third period. His shot, created off a Curtis Lazar chance at the net, came seconds after the Red Wings scored their lone goal. It was a good way to remind them where they stood in this contest, as if the scoreboard wasn’t enough.
— Fourth-year pro Connor Clifton played in his 100th NHL game Thursday. All of them have come with Boston after the New Jersey native and Quinnipiac product signed with the Bruins after passing on the then-Phoenix Coyotes, who had drafted him the fifth round in 2013.
This was his sixth game of the season. He finished with one shot on goal and two hits in 16:13 time on ice.
— Prior to puck drop, the Bruins and NESN honored longtime Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, who died Saturday at the age of 68.
— The Bruins will head north of the border to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. You can watch the game — as well as pregame and postgame coverage — live on NESN.