Patrice Bergeron rarely takes a lot of heat from fans or press in Boston. He’s too talented and honest a player to draw down the wrath of many, even when he is not playing his best. And in the team’s first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was not.

But the criticism was focused more on his linemates, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin, who both were having mighty poor series. But Bergeron was not entirely exempt after managing just one goal, no assists and a minus-1 rating through the first six games against Toronto.

The Bruins needed more from the entire line. Bergeron truly wanted to make that happen.

Well, it’s safe to say Bergeron stepped forward when it mattered most. With less than a minute left in Game 7 last night at the Garden, the veteran center whipped in a long wrist shot to cap an astonishing, thrilling comeback by the Bruins — tying it at 4 and forcing sudden-death overtime.

Bergeron then popped in a rebound from a goalmouth scramble 6:05 into overtime, giving the Bruins an amazing 5-4 victory and sending them to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the New York Rangers.

“It was one of the crazy ones I’ve been part of,” Bergeron said. “We stayed resilient, I guess that’s what I can say. We found a way.

“(It was) not necessarily the way we would have liked to play the whole game, but we showed some character coming back in the game. And we found a way in the overtime. We had the momentum. Our legs were back. It felt good.

“We definitely made it interesting for us and for the fans also. We’d like to do it a better way, but it built character and it built confidence.”