Bergeron's big game powers Bruins in Liberec
-- After being told all about the White Tigers' infamous "White Hell" for the past 24 hours, the Boston Bruins showed they have the mental fortitude to survive such hostile surroundings.
New addition Nathan Horton
scored late in the first period to open the scoring and Patrice Bergeron
potted a pretty breakaway goal early in the second to send Boston on its way to a 7-1 victory Tuesday night at Tipsport Arena.
Bergeron had a monster night for the Bruins, scoring 2 goals and adding 3 assists. Not only did he score what proved to be the winning goal, but he also added Boston's fourth goal.
Amazingly, each goal came on exactly the same breakaway move.
Sprung into the zone each time, Bergeron intimated that he was going to go to his left before stooping just inches from the crease and instead taking the puck to the right to befuddle the Liberec goalie.
On his first goal, Bergeron left starter Marek Pinc stranded. Then, in the third, he pulled the same trick on Thomas Vosvrda, who came in at the start of the period.
Yet, those highlight-reel goals weren't even the best play of Bergeron's night.
After Andrej Podkonicky scored on a scintillating 2-on-0 breakaway with former NHLer Petr Nedved to give the raucous crowd hope that their team could spring an upset on one of the Original Six franchises, rookie Jordan Caron
-- looking to make this team with a strong camp -- scored a shorthanded goal to restore some order for the Bruins.
While Caron got credit for the goal that made it 3-1 -- he did fire a rising wrister that handcuffed Pinc and squeezed between the goalie's arm and body -- it was Bergeron that did all the work.
First, the slick center broke up a D-to-D pass and then, refusing to give up on the play, intercepted a hopeful pass by Nedved and fed the puck to Caron in one fluid motion to set in motion a 2-on-1 counterattack.
Bergeron added his second assist on the game's fifth goal, setting up rookie Tyler Seguin
for a pretty goal. It was Seguin's third goal on this European trip, as he netted two in Saturday's win against the Belfast Giants Select team.
His final assist was a pretty pass to Blake Wheeler
on a 2-on-1 that resulted in an easy goal.
Greg Campbell also had a third-period goal as Vosvrda was torched for four goals in the opening half of the period.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas
, looking to reclaim the No. 1 job he relinquished to Tuukka Rask
, played strong throughout Tuesday night's game.
Thomas made several big saves in the first 40 minutes and had no chance when Podkonicky came steaming in with Nedved on a break set in motion by Johnny Boychuk
's turnover at the attacking blue line.
The Bruins, who play Phoenix in regular-season games in Prague this weekend as part of the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere series, traveled here to showcase the NHL to the rabid fans of Liberec.
Those fans, suffice it to say, put on a show as they filled the 8,000-seat arena to capacity and began raising the roof well before faceoff. The streets around the arena were gridlocked a good hour before the 7 p.m. faceoff.
Virtually everyone was dressed in white, clapping and chanting in time with the drums that banged throughout the arena. During stoppages, the fans waved white towels. After unpopular calls, shrill whistles reverberated around the place. All, it seems, part of the "White Hell" famous throughout Czech hockey.
Yet, the Bruins more than weathered the atmosphere in the first period, even if Liberec had a slight advantage in play.
In fact, Boston took the lead when new addition Horton ripped home a shot from the high slot after a pass from Zdeno Chara
. David Krejci
, the only Czech on the Boston team, got the secondary assist. From there, it was all Boston