May 29, 2013, 12:36 PM EDT
As one of the NHL’s best defensive forwards, Patrice Bergeron knows what his likely assignment will be for the Eastern Conference finals:
Matching up with Sidney Crosby.
“I expect to play against him,” Bergeron told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “You play this game to play against the best.
“This is going to be a great challenge.”
The reigning Selke winner and a nominee this season, Bergeron has made a living doing battle with opposing centers.
He’s one of the league’s premier faceoff men (currently leading the playoffs at 63.5 percent) and has earned Crosby’s respect from their numerous head-to-head matchups.
“Nothing is easy against him,” Crosby said.
Here’s more, from the Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe:
Bergeron and Crosby have met 18 times. Crosby has recorded 27 points in those meetings, giving him an average of 1.5 in games against Bergeron.
His career average is 1.42 points per game, which is fourth-highest in NHL history. Despite numbers that suggest Bergeron’s presence doesn’t hinder him, Crosby knows better.
Even though Bergeron figures he’ll draw the Crosby assignment, he won’t be alone in trying to shut down No. 87.
At practice on Wednesday, the Bruins split up defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in an attempt to find pairings to match up against Pittsburgh’s top two lines.
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind 34
- Detroit stuns favored Bruins with late goal to take Game 1 27
- Crashing Lightning: Montreal crushes Tampa Bay, takes 2-0 series lead 3
- Quenneville gets $25,000 fine for ‘bush-league move’ 12
- NHL looking into Quenneville’s ‘grabby’ gesture from Game 1 40
- Getzlaf to play Game 2, looks awful 18
- Video: PHT Extra — can Detroit exploit Boston’s blueline? 13
- Sharks go on the attack, defeat Kings in Game 1 16
- Avalanche win in OT, complete third-period comeback 61
- Blues prevail in longest game in franchise history as Steen scores in third OT 25