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Pregame Notebook: Game 2 vs. Tampa Bay

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins
BOSTON – The 1-0 series deficit the Bruins find themselves in after falling 5-2 to the Lightning in Game 1 on Saturday night isn’t insurmountable, but there's no doubt that tonight is an important game for Boston’s life in this postseason.

After igniting limited offense in Game 1, the B’s will look to create more scoring opportunities tonight and find a way to fire some pucks past Tampa Bay goaltender Dwayne Roloson. Should Boston fall tonight they would take the same 2-0 series deficit on the road to Tampa Bay as they did to Montreal in the first round.

The Bruins climbed out of the hole once, and although they are confident in their abilities to do it again, it’s not a situation they are looking to find themselves for a second time.

Meanwhile, the Lightning isn’t going to sit back and wait for the Bruins. They know Boston will come out of the gate hard and are expecting the B’s best performance of the postseason tonight.

Puck drops at 8:15.

Line-up Changes in Practice

Finding themselves down 1-0 in their Eastern Conference series with Tampa Bay, and seeing minimum offensive production from their forward combinations in Game 1, the Bruins made a chance in their line combinations in Game 1.

Boston Bruins center Rich Peverley (49) is stopped by Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) during third period of game six NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action Tuesday, April 26, 2011 in Montreal. Montreal won the game 2-1. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
With forward Patrice Bergeron sidelined with a concussion, Chris Kelly slid into the center position on Boston’s second line and rookie Tyler Seguin made his postseason debut on the B's third line.

At yesterday’s practice though, things looked a bit different for Boston. Kelly and fellow forward Rich Peverley, who spent the first two rounds as a winger alongside Kelly, switched lines. Peverley skated with Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi on the second line, while Kelly slid back into this center position in the third trio.

“I think me and Kells might do a little bit of switching off here. I think it’s just to give a little option down the middle there,” Peverley said.

“Usually you try to prepare to play with everybody and you want to be able to play with anybody, so I don’t think it’s going to be different at all.”

Skating in a position usually filled by Bergeron leaves big skates to fill, but Peverley is just focused on playing his game.

“I’m not going to try and be Bergy," he said. "He’s a tremendous player

I’ll just try to use my speed."

Also different at yesterday’s practice was the appearance of Seguin on the power play unit during Boston’s special teams practice prior to the full team skate. The dynamic forward skated in his first career playoff contest in Game 1, recording a goal and an assist.

“We want to make the power play work and it’s never a bad thing to have those guys go through it and if at one point you need him, you need him. And what I said yesterday was exactly what we wanted to do with Tyler,” said Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien.

“He’s a young player that we care about and want to make sure that we develop him properly. And that’s part of the decision we’ve made as an organization is not to rush him through anything.”

“We understand the quality of player we’ve got and what...he’s going to bring in the future. And those are part of the things we keep doing with him and we’ve done with him all year is make him participate in all those areas where he’s going to be hopefully a big factor for us in the future.”

Bergeron Skates with Teammates
Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron was on the ice, skating with his teammates Monday morning for the first time since suffering his third career concussion in the first period of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Bergeron has skated by himself with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides recently, but this morning joined his teammates for nearly a full practice.

However, the forward left the ice prior to the battle drill portion of the practice, which ended the session.

“He’s been around the last few days and we knew he skated a couple of times,” forward Michael Ryder said. “And just to see him out there with us, that gives us that little boost.

"Hopefully he comes back soon.”

While Bergeron’s appearance at practice was a pick-me-up for the Bruins, Coach Julien couldn’t confirm the 25-year-old’s availability for tomorrow night’s game.

“We’re going through the protocol,” Julien said. “It’s just something that you can’t predict, how quickly, or how slow it’s going to be.”

Still, Bergeron’s teammates are hoping to have him back in the line-up as soon as possible.

“I know they don’t want to rush that and you have to wait until you’re one hundred percent, but he looked good out there today and it’s pretty nice for everyone to see him back,” said winger Nathan Horton.

Should Bergeron return to the line-up tonight, someone would have to watch from the press box. After being a healthy scratch in the first two rounds of the postseason, Seguin could be the logical choice for the Bruins.

However, Coach Julien wouldn’t comment on the matter after yesterday’s practice, saying he can’t answer “if” questions.

Bolts Look to Stay Disciplined
There’s not a coach in the league that won’t tell you that staying disciplined is key when making a deep postseason run. Lack of discipline leads to penalties, which leads to power play opportunities and eventually goals.

Brad Marchand dumps Tampa Bay Lightning's Steve Downie during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final playoff series, Saturday, May 14, 2011, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
While the Lighting have a solid penalty kill, knocking off 94.8 percent of opponents power play’s this postseason, the Bolts aren’t looking to give the Bruins struggling power play any extra opportunities to catch fire.

“It is a process and it is something that we've put a lot of emphasis on from day one in the training camp," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said yesterday. "We're the most penalized team in the league last year, and the first speech we had was:  It ain't going to happen this year.

"Nobody's going to get any breaks in that respect.

"So we're just benefitting right now from the efforts of the players in that respect,” he said.

That discipline was highlighted at the end of Saturday’s Game 2 when Bruins Lucic and Horton were involved in a scrum with Lightning forwards Steve Downie and Ryan Kesler. Lucic and Horton both received two minutes for roughing and 10-minute game misconducts.

Downie and Kesler were not penalized.

“I think you just look at how Steve behaves every day, and nothing will bother him to the level of getting him out of his control, and I think he's a guy that is a great example for everybody in the organization,” Boucher said.

“I think it's our job as an organization to reproduce that, and our players are doing that.”
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