BOSTON — This is why Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli stocked up on centers.
Just before the 2:38 mark of the third period tonight, Philadelphia forward Claude Giroux hammered Boston center Patrice Bergeron head-on on the forecheck.
Bergeron got up, dusted himself off and made a bee line for the dressing room. The Bruins alternate captain didn’t return for the rest of the club’s series-clinching 5-1 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Flyers at the TD Garden.
After the game, head coach Claude Julien had no update or information on what Bergeron’s injury is or how he’s doing.
Gregory Campbell and Chris Kelly both took shifts between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi in place of the team’s best two-way forward.
“To be honest with you, we were just focused on the game,” said Campbell after the game. “I don’t even know what happened. At that point and time, there’s really no time to think about that.”
Although they were concerned for their teammate’s well-being, the Bruins were able to focus on the task at hand because of the depth they have up front.
“You’re always worried when someone leaves the game,” said Marchand. “But we have a lot of depth. And it was good, guys stepped up.”
Head coach Claude Julien couldn’t say enough about his versatile, two-way replacements for Bergeron.
“Chris Kelly is a very reliable player, a lot like Bergeron he is,” said the coach. “And a great two-way player. He has put up some decent points and he has also been an extremely reliable defensive player. So it’s an easy fit there.
“And even Soupy Campbell has been a good player for us as well. He competes hard and is very reliable. So you are able to move guys around and know they are going to do the job.”