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Patrice Bergeron celebrates in Boston's 8-3 pre-season triumph over Montreal. ((Mike Dembeck/Canadian Press))

It was a productive return to the NHL on Monday night for Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron.

The 23-year-old, playing in his first game since suffering a severe concussion almost 11 months ago, had a goal and three assists as the Bruins pounded the Montreal Canadiens 8-3 in NHL pre-season action before 7,792 fans at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Bergeron, the game's first star, picked up a pair of assists early in the second period, then scored with 10 seconds left in the frame as he tipped home a shot from linemate Marco Sturm.

His final point came in the third as he made a beautiful feed to Bruins defenceman Aaron Ward, who snuck in from the point and made no mistake from in close.

Bergeron, whose line also included Phil Kessel, missed 72 regular-season games and the playoffs last season when he suffered a Grade 3 concussion and a broken nose against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 27.

Bergeron was driven face-first into the end boards by Philadelphia defenceman Randy Jones.

Sturm added two goals and two assists for Boston, while 21-year-old prospect Vladimir Sobotka also scored twice.

Andrew Ference and P.J. Axelsson had the other goals for the Bruins.