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Bruins felt absence of Bergeron in Game 5

Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 12:55 AM / Blackhawks vs Bruins - 2013 Stanley Cup Final

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Bruins felt absence of Bergeron in Game 5
The Boston Bruins took a big hit when center Patrice Bergeron left Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, and they're not sure if he'll be back for Game 6.

CHICAGO -- The Boston Bruins have dealt with their share of injuries and lineup adjustments during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but overcoming the loss of center Patrice Bergeron to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in the Final might be asking a little too much.

Patrice Bergeron
Center - BOS
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 15
SOG: 71 | +/-: 2
No one is certain exactly when and how Bergeron was injured during the second period of Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Blackhawks in Game 5 at United Center. On his first shift, 55 seconds into the second period, he won a defensive-zone draw and skated into the Blackhawks' end and to the end boards before quickly skating to his bench. He had been on the receiving end of a body check delivered by Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival with 8:36 remaining in the first period.

"I don't know how he feels right now … I don't know if he'll back next game or not, but we definitely missed him in the third period," center David Krejci said.

Bergeron attempted to return a few minutes later but left the ice 16 seconds later. He remained at the end of the bench and didn't come out with his teammates for the third. The Bruins confirmed that Bergeron was taken to a local hospital via ambulance for further observation. They later added a statement that Bergeron was released from the hospital and would fly back to Boston with the team.

"I have no update," Boston coach Claude Julien said when asked about Bergeron's status. "I think there's no concern until you get an update. As far as we're concerned, he's just getting evaluated right now. Not much I can say on his situation."

The Bruins trailed 2-0 when Bergeron left the game. They got a goal by Zdeno Chara early in the third period but didn't score again. They also lost 33 of 57 faceoffs, an area in which Bergeron excels.

"You can't replace a guy like that," center Rich Peverley said. "He's one of the best players in the League for what he does, and obviously we need other guys to step up now."

The Bruins trail the best-of-7 series 3-2. Game 6 is Monday night at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS), but Bergeron's status is unknown.

Goalie Tuukka Rask is hoping for the best but said the team has to be prepared to play without Bergeron in Game 6.

"It's kind of sad that you have to lose a guy like that in order to wake the team up and start battling out there [in the third]," Rask said. "In the Final, if you play just 20 minutes, it's not going to be good enough to get you a hockey game. So you have to realize that. [It's possible] we're going to have some new bodies and some new lines on Monday.

"Everybody needs to play 110 percent and just leave your heart out on the ice."

Bergeron is tied with Krejci and Chicago forward Patrick Kane for second place in the NHL playoffs with nine goals -- one behind Chicago's Patrick Sharp. He also leads the League in the faceoff circle with a winning percentage of 62.2 percent -- he's won 295 of 474 draws, including four of nine before leaving the game Saturday.

"It was a loss [without Bergeron]," Krejci said. "You miss your best faceoff man and miss one of your best players. I feel we had some pretty good chances. With Bergy in the lineup, I believe we would have gotten that second goal [to tie the contest]. I think we were close a couple of times, but it's sad to see him go down."

Bergeron was leading all players in the Stanley Cup Final with four goals, including three power-play tallies, and had six goals and eight points in his past seven games.

"We'll figure out how everything is [Sunday] and then we'll prepare to win [Game 6], whichever way we have to," Peverley said.

Julien opted to insert rookie Carl Soderberg on the second line with Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr in Bergeron's absence. Soderberg, who was making his debut in the playoffs, began the game on the team's fourth line with Peverley and Shawn Thornton.

With Bergeron hurting and Chicago captain Jonathan Toews dealing with an upper-body injury he sustained later in Game 5, it's possible two of the marquee players in this series could be sidelined Monday.

"That kind of evens itself out if that's the case," Julien said. "But there's still a lot of good players on both teams that can certainly make things happen. But it's a challenge. I think it's about both teams wanting it bad enough and hoping guys step up and do the job if those guys aren't back, and that works for both sides. I'm sure that's something that both coaches would like to see from their players."

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