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Bergeron continues positive strides

By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / May 18, 2011

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While Patrice Bergeron continues to progress from his May 6 concussion, last night was not the night for his return.

Bergeron participated in yesterday’s morning skate, the fourth straight day he skated. But he was not cleared to play in Boston’s 6-5 victory over Tampa Bay in in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Bergeron has yet to engage in significant contact during practice, which is a precursor to being cleared for game action. Given the nature of the morning skate, in which players opt for minimal wear and tear in preparation for the game, Bergeron didn’t take or receive any hits yesterday.

Bergeron could be ready for Game 3 tomorrow at the St. Pete Times Forum or Game 4 Saturday in Tampa. He is expected to travel to Tampa with his teammates this morning.

Rich Peverley took Bergeron’s spot on the No. 2 line between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Chris Kelly served as the second-line center in Game 1. The coaching staff flipped Peverley and Kelly to give the second line more offensive punch.

Lucic recovers Milan Lucic didn’t participate in the morning skate. During power-play drills Monday, Tyler Seguin hummed a fast-moving shot off Lucic’s right foot, sending him to the bench in pain. Lucic didn’t resume the power-play action, but the left wing made it through the entire practice session.

“No issues there at all,’’ coach Claude Julien said of Lucic’s absence.

Yesterday morning, as Lucic went from the dressing room to the team’s pregame meal, he walked with a limp.

Lucic has two goals and three assists in the playoffs, well off the pace of linemates David Krejci (6-5—11) and Nathan Horton (6-7—13).

“He’s got to work his way through those kinds of things,’’ Julien said. “When you’re this far into the playoffs, you’ve got to push these guys and you’ve got to encourage these guys. You’ve got to find ways to get them going.

“There’s nobody right now more than those players putting pressure on themselves. Just because he doesn’t play well doesn’t mean he doesn’t care.’’

Lucic didn’t show any signs of being slowed by the injury. He landed a team-high five shots in 20:49 of ice time. Lucic was also credited with two hits.

Don’t point at him The Bruins entered Game 2 with a 4.9 percent success rate on the power play in the postseason but went 2 for 5 last night. Management believed it had addressed the power-play issues by acquiring man-up specialist Tomas Kaberle from Toronto. But Kaberle has provided precious little presence at the point. Last night, however, he quarterbacked the No. 1 unit alongside Johnny Boychuk and assisted on both power-play goals. “People have looked at him as a savior because our power play had been struggling,’’ said Julien before the game. “He’s just a piece of the puzzle. It’s unfortunate, but the other guys on the power play have the responsibility to do their job as well. He’s one of those guys that’s probably feeling the pressure because people seem to think he should be carrying the power play. He’s an important part of it. I think if he finds his game, he’s going to be an important part of it. But he’s not the reason our power play isn’t going at the rate we’d like it to go.’’

Savard in the house Marc Savard attended last night’s game. He has been recovering at his offseason home in Peterborough, Ontario, after suffering a concussion Jan. 22 when he was thumped by former teammate Matt Hunwick. During a TV timeout in the first period, some of Savard’s highlights were shown on the scoreboard. Savard was then shown sitting next to sons Zachary and Tyler. After the win, Savard huddled in the equipment room where he greeted several of his teammates. Savard was not available for comment . . . Tampa Bay goalie Dwayne Roloson didn’t make history last night. He entered last night with an eight-game winning streak in the playoffs. The former UMass Lowell netminder, who is 41, was tied with Jacques Plante for the longest winning streak in one playoff year by a goalie 40 years or older. “I don’t think I would fault him at all for the goals,’’ said Julien. “I would say we did a great job in front of him. Certainly he’s played well for them. I’m sure he’s going to continue to play well for them. We’re going to have to keep challenging him if we plan on continuing to win some games here.’’ . . . Peverley, acquired from Atlanta along with Boris Valabik for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart Feb. 18, was disappointed to hear that the Thrashers might relocate to Winnipeg. Peverley recalled that most of the spectators at Philips Arena wore opposing colors. “They were Bruins fans, not Thrashers fans,’’ he said . . . The Bruins are scheduled to fly to Tampa this morning. They will not have a full practice today . . . Correction: The Garden staff installed an industrial humidifier next to the Zamboni entrance Monday, not a refrigeration unit.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at fshinzawa@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto

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