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Patrice Bergeron absent from practice

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  March 14, 2012 03:57 PM

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SUNRISE, Fla. -- Patrice Bergeron, who shook off one injury to play in Tuesday night's 6-1 slapdown by the Bolts in Tampa, was hors de combat again Wednesday when the Bruins worked out in preparation for Thursday night's game here vs the Panthers.

Bergeron, who suffered an unspecified lower-body injury Sunday in Pittsburgh, was hit in the back of a leg with a puck in Tampa, said coach Claude Julien, leaving the stalwart center slightly hobbled and off skates for the one-hour workout.

''Just a maintenance day for Bergy,'' said Julien, noting the injury was not related to the one he sustained in Pittsburgh. He then went on to characterize the Quebec City pivot as an ''ultimate warrior'' and a ''character player,'' grouping him in that category with team captain Zdeno Chara.

Bergeron won an eye-popping 20 of 27 faceoffs vs. the Lightning.

Big collision
Approximately a half-hour into the workout, at 12:38 p.m., Chara put a heavy hit on fellow big man Milan Lucic in the corner, the two monoliths tumbling down in a heap. Practice stood still while the pair of heavyweights slowly picked themselves and shook off the bing-bang.

''Who won?'' said a smiling Lucic after the workout, returning a reporter's question. ''Not sure ... I think the boards lost.''

He added that he took the brunt of the collision to his left shoulder, banging head and shoulder into the boards.

Added newcomer Brian Rolston, sitting next to Lucic in the dressing room, ''I thought, 'There's two guys we can't lose.' There's a lot of mass there.''

Julien, his club having lost a season-high three in a row, was relieved to see the two big men smiling only moments after the pileup.

''The way our luck's been, you kind of worry at first,'' said Julien. ''But they looked at each other and laughed. That's the way it's been, though ... as soon as someone falls, you think the worst -- and that's not helping us right now.''

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