BOSTON (CBS) – It’s very rare you see Patrice Bergeron get into a dust-up, but when Evgeni Malkin wanted to dance following the second period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night, the Bruins’ assistant captain was up to the challenge.
And on Sunday, he had the battle scars to prove it.
Following Boston’s optional team skate on Sunday, Bergeron entered the locker room with stitches on his nose, a swollen right eye, and a collection of bruises on his neck.
Bergeron said the tussle was in the heat of battle, and though it involved two players that rarely throw down the gloves, those things happen in the playoffs — especially when a trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line.
“It just happened. There’s not much to say about it or look into it,” said Bergeron. “It was just the heat of the moment; it’s one of those things you move on and keep going, keep battling and try to win games.”
Shawn Thornton, who never backs down from a tussle, didn’t mind Boston’s on-ice leader mixing it up a bit.
“I think everyone knows how much of a fan I am of Patrick,” Thornton said of Patrice. “When he gets that riled up it’s usually for a reason. I like it; I have no problem with that. He’s not afraid to step up when he has to.”
His fight fired up his team, but it may have ruined a few of his playoff head shot — which were taken on Sunday.
But while that’s new for Bergeron, it’s become common practice for Thornton.
“We had to do head shots today for something, so I did tell him my last six team pictures I had a shiner in them,” said Thornton. “I told him ‘welcome to my world.’”
Bergeron doesn’t know if the physicality will carry over into Monday night’s Game 2, but if it does the Bruins will be ready to match the intensity once again.
“From what I’ve seen in the past series, sometimes every game is played a little different. I don’t know what to expect; we’re expecting a big game obviously. I don’t know if the physicality is going to carry over to Game 2. If it does we have to match it up,” he said.
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