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Patrice Bergeron shines bright in Game 3 win

Center scores on the power play and dominates in the faceoff circle

With Tyler Hawkins’s pounding drum beat and Dave Grohl’s scorching vocals weaved into a video montage of the Bruins’ greatest hits, checks, and smackdowns of this postseason, the feral music of the Foo Fighters whipped the TD Garden crowd of 17,565 into a good and proper frenzy by the time the Black and Gold took the ice for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.

When Patrice Bergeron skillfully potted a power-play goal at 14:05 of the second period, taking Jaromir Jagr’s masterful cross-crease pass and pinging it off the left post and past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, the accompanying fog horn blast came as sweet music to the delirious crowd.

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It was certainly resonant for Bergeron after he helped orchestrate a dismantling of the Blackhawks in an impressive 2-0 victory to give the Bruins a 2-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

Compared with Saturday’s Game 2, when the Bruins slogged their way through the first period before earning a 2-1 overtime victory, this was a decidedly better game from start to finish.

“Against a team like Chicago, you’ve got to go hard every shift, you can’t take a shift off,’’ said Bergeron, who skated 32 shifts, the most of anyone on either team, in 19 minutes, 49 seconds of ice time.

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“Our start was something that we talked about and we carried that on in the second and third period as well.’’

Bergeron’s goal, which was his seventh of the postseason, followed one by Game 2 hero Daniel Paille at 2:13 of the second, and served to dispirit the Blackhawks.

The Bruins were on the man advantage for the first time in the game at 12:00 when Dave Bolland was sent off for cross-checking on Chris Kelly’s net rush.

Then, with time running out on that power play, the Bruins drew another penalty when Niklas Hjalmarsson was called for tripping Daniel Paille, giving Boston a two-man advantage.

“We had [10] seconds on the 5-on-3, so we had to make something happen quick,’’ said Bergeron.

The Blackhawks managed to survive being two short, but they were unable to overcome having to go another two minutes a man down.

Bergeron made the visitors pay with Boston’s second power-play tally of this series. The Bruins have converted 9 of 54 power play opportunities in this postseason.

“We talked about the play and we made it work,’’ Bergeron said.

Of course, it helped to have Jagr feed him the puck with a hard tape-to-tape pass.

“They’re making me happy, even if I’m not scoring,’’ Jagr said of his teammates after he picked up his eighth postseason assist on Bergeron’s tally.

“It doesn’t really matter if I score or not. They’re trying to make me happy or important, even if I don’t score. It’s the first time I’ve felt that way in my hockey career.”

Asked about his pass to Bergeron, Jagr said, “It was a big goal. To be up 2-0 instead of 1-0, it’s a huge difference.’’

But when he put it on his blade, was Jagr confident Bergeron would finish?

“Every time I touch something right now, it’s nothing guaranteed,’’ Jagr said. “I feel like I’m cursed or something.’’

“Yeah, it was a great pass,’’ said Bergeron. “I was expecting the puck to come, but it was a perfect play. I had to kind of settle it down a bit. It was a hard pass. It was a great pass and I just had to put it in, thankfully I was able to do that.’’

When he wasn’t burying his chances, Bergeron was burying the Blackhawks in the faceoff circle. He won 24 of his 28 faceoffs, including 10 of 11 in the first period.

“It’s something we take a lot of pride and we talk about a lot,’’ Bergeron said. “They have some very good centermen, so it’s not just about the four centers, it’s about everyone.’’

And, Monday night, everyone contributed in perfect harmony.

“I thought we did a decent job, it wasn’t perfect by any means,’’ Bergeron said. “But at this point of the year you’ve got to take the wins and move on and focus on Game 4.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at
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