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Bergeron expected in Bruins lineup for Game 6

by Tal Pinchevsky

BOSTON -- Two days after leaving Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Chicago with an injury that necessitated a trip to the hospital, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is expected to play in Game 6 on Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Bergeron did not take part in the team's morning skate Monday, but it's likely he'll be on the ice when the puck drops.

"Patrice will dress for warm-up tonight and I'm feeling confident that he will play," Bruins coach Claude Julien said following the team's morning skate.

After playing 5:17 in the opening period of Game 5, Bergeron took two shifts in the second period, the second of which lasted 16 seconds, before being pulled from the game and eventually taken to a hospital for observation. It was not revealed when or how he sustained the injury. However, he was released from the hospital, returned to the team hotel and flew back to Boston with the team Sunday.

If Bergeron can't play, forward Carl Soderberg will replace him, centering a line with Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr. If that happens, either Jordan Caron or Jay Pandolfo will take Soderberg's spot on the fourth line with Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton. Soderberg made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut for Boston in Game 5, totaling two shots and three hits in his first game since Boston's regular-season finale April 28.

Even with a potential spot in the lineup hanging in the balance, each of Boston's players were hoping Bergeron would be available for Game 6.

"I'm hopeful Bergeron is going to play, to be honest with you," Pandolfo said. "Patty is going to do everything he can to get in there. Worse case, he can't play, then I'm definitely ready. Obviously I haven't played for a while, but I've been in this situation before and I'm confident I can do the job."

Bergeron has 15 points in 21 playoff games, and his nine playoff goals rank second in the League behind Chicago's Patrick Sharp, who has 10. Bergeron scored the Cup-winning goal in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final and has been the team's best two-way player this postseason.

"Of course, if [Bergeron] is out then other guys need to step up in other areas," forward Tyler Seguin said. "If he's in, it just shows the warrior that he is and it wouldn't surprise me."

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