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Patrice Bergeron leaves Game 5, taken to area hospital

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

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CHICAGO -- If there's one forward the Boston Bruins simply cannot be without in its Stanley Cup Final series against the Chicago Blackhawks, it's Patrice Bergeron. The star center, who has 15 points this postseason and has been Boston's top defensive forward, left the game early in the second period in obvious discomfort. About halfway through the third, we got this:

Exactly what happened to Bergeron is unclear, but NBC cameras focused on his last shift, in which he appeared to be skating gingerly. As he went to make a play behind the Blackhawks' net, it seemed clear that he wasn't right, and he immediately went to the bench after just 16 seconds on the ice.

A report from Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet said that Bergeron could have suffered an injury to his spleen.

Bergeron never played another shift during the second period, missing the last 10:39 of the frame. He remained on the Bruins bench for the duration of the period, but did not come out with team for the start of the third.

Bergeron has been outstanding in the Stanley Cup Final. He leads the Bruins with four goals and has taken a team-high 19 shots on goal. Boston is a different team without him, but his health is the most important concern at the present.

After the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien said he did not have an update on the situation, but said Bergeron could play in Game 6.

"Well, no update, and I think there's no concern until you get an update," Julien said. "As far as we're concerned, he's just getting evaluated right now. Not much I can say on his situation.

"It's just an injury that wasn't able to let him finish the game. He may be in next game. I'm not going there."

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