TAMPA -- Boston Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin will be in the lineup versus the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night regardless of whether Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (concussion) returns to the ice, coach Claude Julien announced Wednesday.
"I'm going to tell you right now [Seguin is] going to be in the lineup [Thursday]," Julien said. "That's for sure. You don't pull a guy like that out of your lineup that's been very good. He's earned it and he deserves to be in the lineup and that's what we want to see."
Seguin, playing in only his second Stanley Cup playoff game, had two goals and an assist in the Bruins' series-tying Game 2 victory Tuesday night. He has three goals and three assists in the series. The No. 2 pick in last year's draft didn't play in Boston's first two series, and rejoined the lineup because Bergeron was out because of a mild concussion.
"Obviously he's a young kid playing in the NHL, and if he wasn't good enough or capable of playing here, he wouldn't be here," Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson said Wednesday. "He's got great skill. He's capitalized on the chances he had."
Bergeron, a top faceoff man, has resumed practicing. The center had two goals and 10 assists in 11 postseason games this season before getting hurt during the conference semifinals.
"I'm sure he's going to play the next game," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said.
Bergeron will take part in Thursday's pregame skate, at which time his playing status will be re-evaluated.
"I can't tell you right now whether he is in or not, and that's being honest, but he's certainly inching closer to making a return as long as there are no setbacks," Julien said. "But all I can tell you is that we can probably make a decision on whether he is going to be OK to go or not."
According to a team source, however, the Bruins expect Bergeron to be ready to go for Game 3.
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald and The Associated Press was used in this report.