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Bergeron escapes serious head, neck injuries after hit

While Patrice Bergeron remained under watch at Massachusetts General Hospital last night, the Bruins were optimistic the 22-year-old center had escaped significant injury.

Bergeron, drilled facefirst into the end boards by Philadelphia defenseman Randy Jones in the first period of Saturday's 2-1 Bruins loss, suffered a concussion and a broken nose. Bergeron had feeling and movement in all extremities. Initial X-rays and a CT scan showed he didn't sustain a serious injury to his head or neck.

"You see a guy lying on the ice like that, obviously, it's pretty disheartening," said Andrew Ference. "It's obviously a relief."

On the play, Bergeron was skating into the offensive zone to play a puck along the boards. A moment after Bergeron played the puck, Jones leaned into the center and belted him. Bergeron crumpled to the ice and lost consciousness.

Trainers, emergency officials, and team orthopedist Dr. Thomas Gill treated Bergeron on the ice. His gloves and uniform were cut away. His legs were taped together and his arms were taped across his chest before he was lifted onto a stretcher and wheeled off the TD Banknorth Garden ice.

"If people are calling that accidental, when a guy puts his arm behind the guy's head, and his feet leave the ice, I don't think that's accidental," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "So, yes, it was a dirty hit."

Jones was given a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct. Jones will certainly be facing a suspension from the league. Jones's hit was the third major incident involving the Flyers this year.

In the preseason, forward Steve Downie left his skates and leveled Ottawa forward Dean McAmmond, delivering a concussion. Downie was suspended for 20 games.

On Oct. 10, forward Jesse Boulerice tagged Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler in the face with a high stick. Boulerice was suspended for 25 games.

"There's no sense behind it," Ference said of the hit. "There's got to be more respect between the players."

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