Bruins, Bolts go back for thirds

Lightning forward Sean Bergenheim fights off a check from Penguins forward Mike Rupp during Game 3...

Lightning forward Sean Bergenheim fights off a check from Penguins forward Mike Rupp during Game 3 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in Tampa, Fla., April 18, 2011. (MIKE CARLSON/Reuters)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:22 PM ET

The two most dangerous third lines in these playoffs will match up in the Eastern Conference final.

The Tampa Bay Lightning has the unit of Sean Bergenheim, Dominic Moore and Steve Downie, which has been outstanding so far in the playoffs, combining for 28 points.

The Boston Bruins trio of Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder has 18 points. The line was a big reason the Bruins were able to get by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round after the Habs shut down Boston's top unit of David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic.

However, Patrice Bergeron's concussion will lead to a shakeup of the Bruins' third unit, at least for the beginning of the series. Bergeron is expected to miss at least the first game -- and maybe more given the unpredictability of symptoms and the fact this is his third diagnosed concussion. He was flattened by Philadelphia's Claude Giroux early in the third period of Game 4 of Round 2 -- a series the Bruins swept.

"He's doing better," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron, who was at the TD Garden Wednesday. "He's here and he's doing better. He's dealing with the concussion symptoms and everything else, the protocols of it. I think we're getting some positive feedback from him."

With Bergeron out, it's expected Kelly will be elevated from the third unit to take Bergeron's place between Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand on the second line.

Rookie Tyler Seguin, who has yet to play in these playoffs, is expected to take Kelly's spot on the third line until Bergeron recovers.

Tampa's third line through first two rounds (Stats: goals-assists-points)

10 Sean Bergenheim 19 Dominic Moore 9 Steve Downie

Age: 27 Age: 30 Age: 24

Stats: 7-1-8 Stats: 2-6-8 Stats: 2-10-12

+/- +4 +/- +4 +/- +9

Boston's third line through first two rounds

49 Rich Peverley 23 Chris Kelly 73 Michael Ryder

Age: 28 Age: 30 Age: 31

Stats: 1-5-6 Stats: 4-3-7 Stats: 2-3-5

+/- +6 +/- +7 +/- +5

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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