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Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron could return from concussion for Game 3 of East final with Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA — Bruins star C Patrice Bergeron (concussion) is "inching closer" to a return and could play tonight in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against the Lightning, Boston coach Claude Julien said Wednesday.

Julien said Bergeron, the team's top playoff scorer (12 points) and faceoff man (64 percent) entering this series, took contact in Tuesday's practice. Bergeron is scheduled to participate in today's morning skate, and depending how he feels, Boston might decide at that time whether he can play.

Bergeron hasn't played since sustaining the injury in Game 4 of the East semifinal against the Flyers. When Bergeron comes back, Julien said, he likely won't be limited in his role, which also includes key parts on both special-teams units.

"He feels his conditioning is right on," Julien said. "In skating practices, he doesn't feel winded or anything like that."

If Bergeron is back tonight, Julien made it clear rookie C Tyler Seguin, who had six points in Games 1 and 2 of this series in his first playoff games, will remain in the lineup. "He's earned it," Julien said of the second overall pick in last year's draft.

POWER UP: The Bruins' power play scored as many goals in Game 2 on Tuesday as it had in the entire postseason up to that point. Boston was 2-for-41 before going 2-for-6 in its 6-5 win. It was the first time Boston had scored multiple power-play goals since March 27. Lightning G Dwayne Roloson said Tampa Bay will have to make some tweaks.

"I think we were moving around a lot better," Bruins LW Milan Lucic said. "We were taking what they gave up. Before in the playoffs, we had the opportunities sometimes to make a play and we'd look for something else. We just wouldn't take that first (shot). I think we did that (Tuesday)."

IN THE CIRCLE: After winning 61 percent of the faceoffs in Game 1, the Lightning struggled in Game 2 (44 percent). "These games … come down to the smallest minute detail, and faceoffs are a part of that," coach Guy Boucher said. "When you start with the puck, obviously you're not chasing the puck. It's our job to be better on those faceoffs."

IN AND OUT: Roloson said he understood why he was pulled after giving up five goals in the second period of Game 2 after a discussion he had with Boucher and goalie coach Frantz Jean. "Obviously I didn't want to come out, but at the same time, if that's what (Boucher) thought was going to give us a little spark to be able to come back, then make the move," Roloson said. "Obviously it was the right decision when the guys came back and battled back."

MISCELLANY: Boucher said D Pavel Kubina (upper-body injury) might have been able to practice Wednesday but had to check with the team doctors. Kubina, out since April 29 when his head was hit against the glass by an elbow from Capitals LW Jason Chimera in Game 1 of the East semifinals, will not play tonight but "might have progressed," Boucher said. … Lightning C Vinny Lecavalier and RW Marty St. Louis were tied with Canucks C Ryan Kesler for the playoff lead with 16 points entering Wednesday.

Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron could return from concussion for Game 3 of East final with Tampa Bay Lightning 05/18/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 19, 2011 8:49am]

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