Patrice Bergeron hat trick sends Senators to 1st regulation loss
Forward sets tone in Bruins home opener with goal 30 seconds after opening faceoff
Patrice Bergeron missed the entire exhibition season and most of training camp recovering from back spasms that followed off-season groin surgery.
The Bruins forward had his fourth career hat trick, scoring his first goal just 30 seconds into the game, and Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for his first win of the season to help Boston beat the Ottawa Senators 6-3 in its home opener on Monday.
Watch Bergeron's magnificent performance:
Two games after the Bruins lost the season opener to the Stanley Cup champion Capitals 7-0, allowing a goal just 24 seconds in, Bergeron opened their home season in similar fashion.
"He's impressive. He's a competitor," said linemate Brad Marchand, who had three assists for a league-leading seven through just three games this season. "He wants to be the best player on the ice every night."
Fifth straight loss
Bergeron also had an assist, David Pastrnak had two goals and two assists and defenceman Charlie McAvoy had his first career three-assist game for Boston. Chris Wagner also scored for the Bruins, who beat Ottawa for the fifth straight time and won their second straight this year since losing to the Capitals the night they raised their championship banner.
Mike Condon made 24 saves and Ryan Dzingel scored twice for the Senators, who picked up a 5-on-3 power play with about 12 minutes left but failed to score.
"Those are momentum builders," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "That makes a difference, if they get a goal get back into it."
The 2014 Vezina Trophy winner, Rask was pulled from the opener against Washington after allowing five goals on 19 shots in less than 28 minutes. Backup Jaroslav Halak replaced him and also started the second game, a 4-0 win over Buffalo on Thursday.
"Well, I finished the game," Rask said with a smirk. "I guess that qualifies as a lot better."
Rask was spotted a 2-0 lead in Monday's matinee, thanks to Bergeron's goal off a rebound in the crease in the first minute. The Bruins forward also scored on a power play from the right faceoff circle with three minutes left in the first.
"You're trying to have a good, strong start," Bergeron said. "It's not always going to be a goal."
It was 3-2 after two periods when Bergeron scored off Ottawa defenceman Cody Ceci's knee 4:38 into the third, sending a shower of caps onto the ice. Pastrnak made it 5-2 with 3 1/2 minutes left, but Bobby Ryan cut the deficit back to two goals just 30 seconds later.
Pastrnak added an empty-netter from mid-ice.
Boston fans broke into a couple of "Yankees Suck!" chants in the third period, a few hours before the Red Sox played New York in Game 3 of the AL Division Series.
"I agree with that chant, by the way. I'm all for it. I'm excited for the Red Sox," Cassidy said. "Let's face it, when you have four teams that are in the mix — [it would] suck to be like Cleveland. Although they're turning the corner, I shouldn't say that. They've got a quarterback now, but I think we're spoiled here."