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All three confirmed for tonight

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  January 27, 2009 11:34 AM

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Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, and Andrew Ference will all play tonight against Washington.

Bergeron, out since Dec. 20 because of a concussion suffered when he collided with Carolina's Dennis Seidenberg, passed the neuro-psych test that is required of all players who are diagnosed with head injuries. Bergeron received clearance to play after passing the test.

"Just relief of getting a chance to be back soon," Bergeron said when he was informed of his clearance. "There was relief. I was happy."

Bergeron first resumed skating on Jan. 11. Coach Claude Julien said the minute Bergeron was cleared, he was more than happy to have him back in the lineup. Bergeron most likely will skate on the right wing with Blake Wheeler and David Krejci.

"Under the circumstances, this is real positive and great news for our hockey club," Julien said of Bergeron's return.

Lucic, out since Jan. 8 because of a shoulder injury, will be back on the No. 1 line with Marc Savard and Chuck Kobasew.

Ference will be paired with regular partner Dennis Wideman. Ference has missed 31 games with a fractured right tibia, suffered when he was hit by an Andrei Markov slap shot on Nov. 13 against Montreal.

Michael Ryder (flu-like symptoms) is most likely out tonight. Matt Hunwick will be the seventh defenseman and might skate up front on the fourth line.

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