- Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.
Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron did not travel with the team and is expected to miss Games 3 and 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round matchup against the Florida Panthers this weekend.
Coach Jim Montgomery said on Friday that his star center is “likely” to return in Game 5.
Bergeron remains in Boston as he continues to deal with an upper-body injury that he suffered in their season finale against the Montreal Canadiens. Bergeron missed the Bruins’ Game 1 win and their Game 2 defeat to open the series in Boston.
The Bruins have not disclosed the nature of Bergeron’s injury. He had been skating on his own before practices in Boston.
Bergeron has been around the team behind the scenes, but the Bruins have really missed his presence on the ice. Bergeron, 37, had 58 points in 78 games this season as their top line center. He’s considered the best defensive forward in the NHL, having won the Selke Trophy a record five times. Bergeron wins 61% of his faceoffs. In the series so far against Florida, Boston has won less than 50% of the faceoffs.
In other Bruins lineup news, Montgomery said that goalie Linus Ullmark is a game-time decision after not taking part in the gameday practice. Goaltender Brandon Bussi from AHL Providence would serve as the backup to Jeremy Swayman if Ullmark can’t go.
The Bruins lost Game 2 to the Panthers with a sloppy effort that was uncharacteristic for the regular-season juggernaut. Montgomery said their 15 turnovers in the game were “catastrophic” and said there could be lineup changes for Game 3.
According to multiple reports, the Bruins’ pregame line rushes saw their top line scattered: Brad Marchand skated with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic; Jake DeBrusk skated with Taylor Hall and David Krejci; and Pavel Zacha, who had replaced Bergeron on the top line, was with Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pastrnak.
Game 3 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. from Sunrise. Game 4 is Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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