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Patrice Bergeron on verge of return

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  May 19, 2011 12:43 PM

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Claude Julien didn't say whether Patrice Bergeron will play tonight. Julien said there is further protocol required before Bergeron is cleared to play. Julien said if Bergeron goes out for pregame warmups, the alternate captain will play.

"If you see him out there for warmups, I'm not just sending him out there for a skate," Julien said. "He's going to be playing."

All signs point toward Bergeron's return. The Bruins didn't go through any line rushes this morning, so he didn't take any regular shifts with Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. But Bergeron looked strong during the skate. He participated in the faceoff drills that every center goes through, with Julien dropping the pucks. Bergeron was among the first players to leave the skate, which is his usual custom.

Prior to Game 2 at TD Garden, Bergeron participated in the morning skate. After the skate, Bergeron practiced with the Black Aces and took contact. Bergeron is not practicing with the Black Aces today.

* Milan Lucic will play tonight despite a sore right foot. Lucic missed his second straight morning skate. Lucic took a Tyler Seguin shot off the foot on Monday.

* Guy Boucher (remember, he has a degree in psychology) has been downright gushy when praising the Bruins. So have the rest of the Lightning. Julien doesn't seem to care for the commentary. Consider the following when asked about Tyler Seguin and how the Lightning have been praising the rookie: "Tampa's been very good at complimenting our team. They do a really good job of that," Julien said. "I think Tampa's got some pretty good speed themselves, with [Martin] St. Louis and those kinds of guys. [Steven] Stamkos. They've got the same kinds of players. I think they're pretty well-served on their side. I don't think they're worried so much about Tyler more than they want to flatter him. We know the mind games that teams play. Right now, we're just focused on what we have to do here. If anything, I would be more tempted to compliment my own players like St. Louis and those kinds of guys when it comes to speed."

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