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Bruins Notebook

Patrice Bergeron shrugs off injury to take ice against Panthers

Patrice Bergeron missed the first three games of the season with a suspected ankle injury.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff/File 2016/Globe Staff

SUNRISE, Fla. — Their season already a core course in a masters program for sports injury, the Bruins on Tuesday braced for the possibility of not having star center Patrice Bergeron in their lineup.

According to coach Claude Julien, Bergeron sustained an injury (undisclosed) after he skated in Monday’s full workout here at the BB&T Center. But come game time, Bergeron was in his customary spot, centering longtime partner Brad Marchand at left wing and rookie Danton Heinen on the right side.

“I felt all right,’’ Bergeron said after the 2-1 win. “I was a little sore, so we had a little maintenance morning, I guess . . . and I was good enough to play.’’


Bergeron said he didn’t think his injury, which he said was not related to his earlier stint on the sideline, will develop into a chronic condition.

“I don’t think so,’’ he said. “Hopefully it’s going to be gone soon and I felt all right on the ice. It’s one of those things where, you know, I guess we all go through the same thing and it’s about battling through it.’’

Bergeron, who sat out the first three games of the season with what was believed to be an ankle injury, was replaced for the morning workout by rookie Sean Kuraly, a left winger summoned overnight from AHL Providence. Kuraly’s NHL debut was put on hold after Bergeron gave it the green light after the pre-game skate.

During the warmup, Bergeron appeared to keep testing his right ankle, seeming to labor slightly when he performed left-over-right crossover steps. He did not similarly strain when crossing right over left.

“He’s got some maintenance going on today,’’ said Julien, asked about Bergeron immediately following the late-morning day-of-game skate.

According to Julien it was “not a practice injury’’ that Bergeron sustained.


“And he didn’t get in a fight, either,’’ joked Julien, a comical play on Bergeron’s Eagle-Scout-like reputation among the NHL ranks.

Already without veteran center wing David Backes and the suspended right wing David Pastrnak, the Boston offense would have been further challenged without Bergeron, among the game’s premier two-way pivots. Julien was prepared to move his other star center, David Krejci, to the line that included Marchand and Heinen.

Julien’s rearranging of the deck chairs in the morning also included moving underperforming left wing Matt Beleskey (eight games, 0-0—0), over to a new line with Ryan Spooner at center and rookie Austin Czarnik at right wing. Newcomer Kuraly slipped into Beleskey’s previous spot at left wing on the Zero Sum Line with Riley Nash (0-0—0) and Jimmy Hayes (0-0—0).

The Providence Bruins, like their varsity brethren, have been wanting for goals this year. Kuraly arrived here from the Wanna B’s with but a lone assist on his résumé. Through eight games, no one in Providence had more than four points.

“I think we’ve got a lot of new guys, but the coaches have been really good and patient with us,’’ said Kuraly, referring to his three-week stay in Providence. “There’s a lot of teaching going on down there right now, trying to learn all the systems, and you know, meshing together as a team. But I think we are getting there, and we made some strides recently, had a good road trip, and I think we are headed in the right direction.


Kuraly, 23, was originaly drafted by the Sharks, 133rd overall, in 2011 and came to the Bruins with the first-round draft pick (Trent Frederic) in the deal that had the Bruins send goalie Martin Jones to the Sharks. Jones was briefly on the Boston books after GM Don Sweeney acquired him in the swap that had Milan Lucic go to the LA Kings.

Originally from Dublin, Ohio, Kuraly played four years at Miami (Ohio), scoring 43 goals in his 154 games there. He is 6 feet 2 inches and 200 pounds.

Changing speeds

Marchand has made his career — and his million in riches — riding most all the time with Bergeron as his center. With the chance that Bergeron would be sidelined again Tuesday, the L’il Ball O’Hate faced the possibility of Krejci as his pivot. He expected he would have to take a different approach to the game.

“He makes a lot of good plays,’’ said Marchand. “You always have to be ready for the puck, it can come at you at any time.’’

True of playing with Bergeron, too, but Bergeron and Marchand have been together so long they move almost in unison, and prefer to play at a very high pace. Krejci is also fast, but builds his game more around control.

“Yeah, they are different players,’’ noted Marchand before the game. “Krech slows the game down a lot better than anyone I’ve ever seen play. And with Bergy, we try to play fast and play quick. Krech slows things down, makes really nice plays, plays with a lot of skill. So hopefully I can be ready to shoot the puck when it gets to me, and hopefully we can connect.’’


Eagle has landed

Mike Matheson, who left Boston College in 2016 after three years on the Eagles backline, looks to have found fulltime work this year with the Panthers. He entered Tuesday’s game as their top point-getter (2-2-4) from the blue line. Matheson, 22, remained in classes after turning pro in ’15 and was able to tidy up his degree in psychology in December of that year. “I would have walked with my class,’’ said the Quebec-born Matheson, “but I was the World Championships during graduation.’’ Raised in Montreal, Matheson is bilingual, and gets to keep up his French down here more than he originally expected. “It seems like all of Montreal is down here sometimes,’’ he said . . . Panthers coach Gerard Gallant on the ever-young Jaromir Jagr, the ex-Bruin, who continues to roll along at age 44: “Hard to believe. This summer he said he got in better shape, said he wanted to drop 10 or 11 pounds, and he is still playing well, working hard. Every night he gets chances to score. I don’t know how he does it, but he continues to do it.’’ Jagr says he’d like to keep playing til age 50. “He’s almost 45, noted Gallant, age 53. “It’s amazing. He’s got a good attitude, coming to the rink and he wants to play, be on the ice every day.’’ Jagr began the night with a 1-3—4 line in nine games. Since joining Boston for a brief run late in the 2012-13 season, he played two years in New Jersey and now is in his third year here.


Liles cut

John-Michael Liles left the action with 6:23 gone when cut by a Kyle Rau high stick. It initially appeared as if a concussion spotter might have ordered Liles off the ice, but Julien said it was a cut that shelved the veteran defenseman . . . Bergeron, despite needing the morning off, took the most faceoffs (24) and won 14 of them (58 percent success). Krejci won 10 of 14 . . . Both Boston goals were unassisted, somewhat of a rarity to score only twice, have both be unassisted, and also win the game . . . The Bruins landed 26 of the 38 shots they attempted on net. The Panthers nearly doubled the chances (72) and placed 34 of them on Rask — a fair reflection of how the momentum played out over 60 minutes . . . Hayes, no fighter he, lost his tussle with ex-Panthers teammate Derek MacKenzie. But points for trying.

Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at dupont@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter@GlobeKPD