Auston Matthews calls Patrice Bergeron’s line ‘No. 1 line in the league this year’


One of the problems the Bruins had against Toronto in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round on Thursday was getting the line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak on track offensively at 5-on-5.

Bergeron scored a power-play goal in the 4-1 loss, but otherwise coach Bruce Cassidy decided to match Bergeron’s line against the Toronto line centered by John Tavares – and Tavares’ line shut down Boston’s No. 1 trio.

So in Game 2 on Saturday we might see more of Bergeron’s line going against Auston Matthews line, a matchup the Bruins’ threesome dominated in last year’s seven-game, first-round victory by Boston.

Matthews didn’t want to predict if he’d be seeing more of Bergeron and Co. in Game 2, but he complimented that line Friday and explained that he and his teammates would need to be ready for a better effort from Bergeron’s line, regardless of the matchups.

“Yeah it gives you confidence [slowing them down in Game 1], but you also know that I mean they’re going to come out tomorrow and they’re going to be fired up,” Matthews said. “You know they’re the No. 1 line in the league this year, so you can’t take that for granted because they’ve got veteran guys on that team. And like I said, they’re going to come out [Saturday] night and they’re going to be ready to play, so we’ve got to be ready to play as well.”

Matthews had another great regular season with 73 points (37 goals, 36 assists) in 68 games. He didn’t have a point in Game 1 but did hit the post once.

No one requests to face the Bergeron Line, but if that’s the way things hash out, Matthews thinks he can handle the assignment.

“Yeah … I mean you go out there who you go out there against, it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “And got to go out there and compete and obviously play a 200-foot game and do things right and just help the team in all areas.”

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