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Sports

June 24, 2013

Blackhawks, Bruins head into Game 6 without stars

BOSTON (AP) — Patrice Bergeron joined his Bruins teammates for a postgame dinner and was with them when they flew back to Boston to prepare for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

When they arrived at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon, he got off the bus, walked to a car without crutches or assistance and was driven off.

"He's good. He came back with us and everything so hopefully he can play," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said Sunday, a day before playing a game Boston needs to win to extend the NHL championship series to Game 7.

"He looked really good today. He had a nice suit on, very dashing," Marchand said with a laugh. "Obviously, he's a big part of the team and hopefully he can play."

As the Cup final approaches a sixth and potential clinching game Monday night, the attention shifted from the players on the ice to the ones who might not make it there, including two of the top forwards and biggest stars in the series.

Neither Bergeron nor Chicago's Jonathan Toews finished Game 5 on Saturday night, and while their coaches expressed optimism that they would be able to play in Game 6, it was shrouded in the typical secrecy surrounding NHL injuries.

"He's day-to-day," Bruins coach Claude Julien said, declining to even give the usual upper body or lower body description of the injury. "Day-to-day is really good news to me, anyways. Should be to you, too."

Bergeron was injured in the second period of Saturday night's game, which the Blackhawks won 3-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the series. He made two brief appearances on the ice in the third but something was obviously wrong and he was unable to complete either shift.

Toews, who won the Selke Award as the NHL's top defensive forward — Bergeron was a finalist — missed the entire third period after a shot to the head from Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk.

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