By Joe Haggerty
TAMPA Sources have told CSNNE.com that Patrice Bergeron has been cleared to play in tonight's Game 3 in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. Bergeron skated during warm-ups, and was cleared for contact based on the hits he took during a skate with the Black Aces on Tuesday at TD Garden.After the morning skate, Claude Julien wouldnt tip his hand as to whether his do it all center will be back in for Game 3, but Julien said hes real close and gave the guarantee again that if No. 37 is involved in warm-ups at the St. Pete Times Forum on Thursday night then hell also be in the Bs lineup.
Hes feeling pretty good, Julien said after the skate. Not totally up to the coach to make the final decision. There are a lot of things to it. I can only give you the same answer I gave you the other day: if hes in the warm-up its because hes ready to go. There will be some discussions on that as we move forward today. It just goes to show that hes getting real close.Its expected that fourth line enforcer Shawn Thornton will be the healthy scratch if and when Bergeron does make it back into Bostons lineup, and the B's coach is confident that any of his players will take the hit for the rest of the team."I don't think I want anybody to accept being scratched as much as I just want them to understand it," said Julien. "Accepting it is not what I want to see. Everybody wants to play. What has to happen is that he needs to understand that it's about the team. "There are changes made on these teams in the playoffs all of the time. Whoever it is needs to be ready to jump back into the lineup at any time."