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Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Patrice Bergeron leaves game

By James Murphy
ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Tuesday night after acquiring future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr, but things took a turn for the worse when center Patrice Bergeron was forced to exit the game.

Bergeron suffered what appeared to be a head injury midway through the second period when he was racing back into the defensive zone and slammed his head into the elbow of Senators forward Colin Greening. He fell to the ice and stayed there for a bit before getting up and leaving for the Bruins' dressing room.

"He's a player that plays a big role on our team," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. "He's obviously one of our best players every night, so he was missed since he left the game."

Bergeron did not return, and Bruins coach Claude Julien did not have an update on his status after the game. Julien wouldn't speculate what the team would do if Bergeron is sidelined for an extended amount of time.

The reigning Selke Trophy winner as the league's best defensive forward leads the Bruins in points with 31 and is tied with David Krejci for most assists with 21.

Bergeron missed the majority of the 2007-08 season with a severe concussion. He suffered another concussion the following season but returned to play. He then missed time in the 2011 Eastern Conference finals with his third concussion but returned to action once again.

His teammates were in the dark as well regarding Bergeron's status but were hoping for the best.

"I haven't talked to him yet but we all know what kind of guy and what kind of player he is, we don't have to talk about it," said center David Krejci. "It sucks but I hope it's nothing serious and he's going to be back in the lineup really soon."

As Bergeron's linemates Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin pointed out, the Bruins will need to utilize their depth should Bergeron be absent for an extended amount of time. Bergeron is an alternate captain; his play as well as his leadership is a big reason why the Bruins have 50 points despite an average month of March and lackluster play recently.

"Honestly, everyone just has to step up. He's such a big part of our team, big leader, obviously our definite best defensive forward," said Seguin, who added that the Bruins wanted to win the game for their fallen teammate. "It's really focusing right now on our zone, and everyone stepping up as well."

Marchand said that no player alone can bring what Bergeron brings every game, so the Bruins will need a collective effort to replace his production.

"We got a pretty deep lineup. It gives guys opportunities to step up when somebody is injured," Marchand said. "Hopefully, that's not the case. Hopefully, Bergy is fine. If he is, then we'll have to deal with it and guys will step up. We know we're not going to fill Bergy's shoes, and nobody is going to look to try. It just means everybody has to pick it up a little bit more, and if collectively we can all play a little bit better, then hopefully we can fill his shoes."

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald was used in this report.