Claude Julien Leaves No Doubt That Patrice Bergeron Will Play in Game 7


Claude Julien Leaves No Doubt That Patrice Bergeron Will Play in Game 7WILMINGTON, Mass. –- The Bruins took the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Tuesday for what could be their final practice of the season.

They held the workout without Patrice Bergeron, but the Bruins won't have to face elimination in Game 7 against Washington on Wednesday without their most valuable forward.

When asked after practice if he had any concerns about Bergeron's availability for Game 7, Bruins coach Claude Julien answered simply, "None at all."

Bergeron suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 5 on Saturday, playing just three shifts in the third period before shutting it down for the day. But he was right back out on the ice for Game 6 in Washington on Sunday, helping the Bruins stave off elimination and force a Game 7 with a 4-3 overtime win.

Bergeron did have some limitations on Sunday. Other than winning one crucial draw late in regulation when the Bruins were called for icing with no other centers on the ice, Bergeron did not take faceoffs. That was a blow to the Bruins, as Bergeron is one of the premier faceoff men in the league, but they were just happy to have the Selke Trophy finalist on the ice at all.

Bergeron may face similar restrictions on Wednesday, but Julien made sure there was no doubt that Bergeron will be on ice.

"He's playing," Julien said. "He played last game and he's going to play next game.

"I don't know how much clearer I can get," Julien added when pressed on the subject. "He's in."

With Bergeron out for practice, Rich Peverley centered Brad Marchand and Jordan Caron on the second line. Peverley played in the middle and took draws for Bergeron on Sunday, while Caron made his playoff debut on the fourth line. Julien will have another tough choice on Wednesday deciding between Caron, who can move up to the second line if Bergeron further aggravates the injury, and Shawn Thornton, whose experience, energy and leadership could be invaluable in a game of such magnitude.

The other practice lines remained unchanged on Tuesday, with David Krejci centering Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin, Chris Kelly between Benoit Pouliot and Brian Rolston, and Gregory Campbell skating with Daniel Paille and Thornton.

On defense, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg remained together on the top pairing, with Andrew Ference paired with Johnny Boychuk, and Greg Zanon skating alongside Mike Mottau. Joe Corvo and Andrew Bodnarchuk were the fourth pairing, while Adam McQuaid (upper body) remained off the ice.

The workout ended on a light note, with the team picking sides for a shootout competition. Brad Marchand was the last pick, and the losing team was forced to skate laps.

"Just in case we have a shootout," Julien joked. "Game 7, isn't that the way they decide it?"

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