Patrice Bergeron

Bruins coach Claude Julien cryptic about whether or not Patrice Bergeron plays tonight

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With Game 2 on the way tonight between Boston and Tampa Bay and the Bruins in need of a spark to help them get over Game 1’s 5-2 thumping, there’s one guy that could help bring that. Bruins playoff top scorer Patrice Bergeron, who’s been out since receiving a concussion in Game 4 against Philadelphia, has been skating with the team lately and after Game 1’s disappointment, getting Bergeron back in the lineup would be a huge lift.

Will he play or won’t he? Bruins coach Claude Julien is being coy when asked about that.

“As far as Bergeron was concerned, I think if he’s in you’re going to see him in the warm-up tonight.”

When pressed further about Bergeron, Julien had better things to talk about.

“No. I think we need to move on to other things here. I’ve got nothing else to say about Bergeron right now. If we want to talk about the game, I’m open to that. If not, I think we’re done. ”

Well all right then.

While Bergeron’s skated with the team, he hasn’t done anything physical in practice yet. If he’s going to suit up tonight and play, it’d help if he took a few loving bumps from the guys he suits up with first. Having his first contact be against guys that don’t exactly have the most loving care in mind sounds like a poor battle plan.

Tyler Seguin is slated to be back in the lineup again tonight and while he was taking Bergeron’s spot in the lineup in Game 1, he proved himself worthy of playing further and they’ll need to give him a few more minutes of ice time to see what he’s really capable of. Seguin had a goal and an assist in Game 1 and it’s possible they’ll be working him into the game on the power play in Game 2. The Bruins could certainly use the help there.

Getting Bergeron back in would be a huge lift to the team but it would be too risky and foolish to do it before he’s healthy enough to go. After all, a guy with a concussion history coming back too soon after suffering another one doesn’t exactly have a great track record of success and the Bruins don’t need to think back too far in their own history to see proof of that. Just ask Marc Savard about how well that worked for him.

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.

Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut

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A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”

Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.

Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.

DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”