Bergeron heading in right direction

Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla and Boston Bruins Patrice Bergeron during their hockey game in Calgary...

Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla and Boston Bruins Patrice Bergeron during their hockey game in Calgary on February 22, 2011. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency Files)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:00 PM ET

BOSTON - It took nine questions, but it finally came up.

Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien might have thought he wasn't going to hear it again heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final Saturday, but he was asked for an update on centre Patrice Bergeron.

The answer was the same as it has been for most of the week. While it's encouraging, it also means the Bruins will be without their leading playoff scorer for at least Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"He's improving. We're optimistic about him. How much of the series he will miss, I can't tell right now. He's on the right track. We're staying positive," Julien said Friday of Bergeron, who sustained the third concussion of his career in Game 4 of the Bruins' sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers.

"When it comes to concussions, you've got good news and you have setbacks," Julien said. "You have all kinds of things that can happen. Right now, he's headed in the right direction."

For Game 1, Bergeron's spot on the Bruins' second line between Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand will be taken by Chris Kelly, who has had a great playoff on the third line.

Bergeron's absence opens the door for rookie Tyler Seguin, the second pick in last summer's draft, to get into the lineup on the third line with Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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