By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Hockey Writer
Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward for a record-breaking fifth time.
The honor unveiled Sunday before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final could be Bergeron’s last if he decides to retire on the verge of his 37th birthday. He does not have a contract for next season and has declined to say whether he plans to come back for a 19th season.
Bergeron wouldn’t be calling it a career because of diminished performance. He is still on top of his game.
At 36, Bergeron led the league with 991 faceoff wins and a winning percentage of .619 and had the best puck possession numbers among players who skated at least 50 games. He put up 65 points in 73 games, trailing only longtime linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak in scoring for the Bruins.
Bergeron winning the Selke for a fifth time broke a tie with Montreal Canadiens Hall of Famer Bob Gainey, who won the award in its first four years of existence. This was his 11th consecutive season as a finalist — the longest streak in league history, surpassing Wayne Gretzky’s 10-year run finishing in the top three in voting for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP from 1980-89.
Florida’s Aleksander Barkov and Calgary’s Elias Lindholm were the other finalists as voted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Bergeron was a runaway winner with 160 first-place votes.
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