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June 20, 2013

Phil Stacey column: Despite loss, Bergeron proves his worth as an Ultimate Bruin

BOSTON — In the 89-year history of the franchise, there have only been eight men who could be unequivocally be termed as ‘Ultimate’ Bruins.

Eddie Shore, Milt Schmidt, Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Orr, Terry O’Reilly, Ray Bourque and Cam Neely all fit the mold like Black-and-Gold ice cubes into a tray of greatness. Each of them are instantly linked with the spoked-B and all that it stands for, symbols of what it means to play for this team in this town and never giving an inch in their quest to be the best.

The eighth man in that group, one whose name and number will someday join the aforementioned seven in the Garden rafters, is Patrice Bergeron.

It’s now a best-of-3 battle to see who takes home the Stanley Cup after Chicago won Game 4 in overtime last night, 6-5, at TD Garden thanks to a Brent Seabrook slapshot. But Bergeron did everything in his power to give Boston the two-game advantage it so desperately wanted, but ultimately fell short of achieving.

“It was one of those games that was very up and down,” said Bergeron in the Boston locker room afterwards. “We had some breakdowns that we need to adjust, but we did some good things to come back in the game. So you have to look at both sides.

“But at the end of the day we didn’t get the result, so we need to make sure we’re back at it Saturday (for Game 5).”

The all-time greats make their career-defining plays when it matters most, and Bergeron willingly took that mantle last night. His team down by two goals late in the second period, the soon-to-be 28-year-old took over.

The entire series has produced five power play goals, and Bergeron has three of them. The third of those came late in the second stanza when the home team desperately needed something good to happen and St. Patrice delivered, following a puck that ricocheted off the back glass and onto the top of Chicago’s net before bouncing directly in front of goaltender Corey Crawford. Without breaking stride, Bergeron got the puck on his stick and roofed a shot over Crawford’s glove, cutting the Boston deficit to 4-3.

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