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Thursday, March 18, 2010
Bergeron in lineup; Ference might play

By Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Bruins center Patrice Bergeron says he’s all right and ready to go against Pittsburgh tonight at TD Garden.

At the end of Tuesday night’s win at Carolina, Bergeron was hit in the right knee by a slap shot from teammate Mark Stuart. Bergeron left the game and X-rays immediately afterward were negative. The Bruins didn’t practice Wednesday, and Bergeron skated with his teammates this morning.

“It feels good; it’s fine. Just my leg went numb for a quick minute or two. Obviously the pain went away. It’s fine. It was just a stinger,” said Bergeron.

Ference could be available
Defenseman Andrew Ference, out since March 2 with a groin injury, could be available if the Bruins need him tonight, according to head coach Claude Julien.

But that doesn't mean that he'll be 100 percent.

“It’s just an ongoing thing. I mean I need surgery at the end of the season," Ference explained after joining his teammate for morning skate for the first time since the injury. "It’s just one of those things that you patch up and take care of and try to make it last as long as you can. It’s just kind of out of control, if you get swelling and bleeding and stuff like that, you’ve kind of got to wait until it goes away before you can do anything because it really locks up my skating stride. There’s nothing you can do about it really, you just get it better and keep going at her and cross your fingers and hope it stays good.”

Ference's season ended early last spring, when he left the Carolina playoff series with a groin injury that also required offseason surgery. This most recent injury was originally expected to keep him out five to seven days. Instead, he missed the Bruins' entire two-week road trip and just started skating on his own this week.

“Obviously, if the team needs you to go, yeah," said Ference.

He might be pressed into action because defensemen Dennis Wideman and Johnny Boychuk, as well as forward Blake Wheeler, all missed the skate with a flu bug.

If the Bruins need reinforcements from the Providence Bruins, it’s possible Jeff Penner and Trent Whitfield could get the call.

Malkin out
Evgeni Malkin will not play tonight because of a lower-body injury that has kept him out since the weekend.