BOSTON — The absence of Patrice Bergeron has obviously weakened the Bruins in their Eastern Conference Final series with Tampa Bay.
However, the Lightning are also feeling he effects of an absence of a key player. Defenseman Pavel Kubina has been missing since the team’s Game 1 win over Washington that started the Lightning on their way to a four-game sweep in the second round.
Unlike forward Simon Gagne, who was injured in that same game but returned for Game 1 against Boston, Kubina doesn’t sound as close to making it back into the Lightning’s lineup.
“He’s not with us. He’s not even here, so the update is not very good,” explained Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher after his team prepared for tonight’s Game 2 with an optional skate this morning at the TD Garden. “Every day when there seems to be a little progression, it kind of slips back a bit. So it’s kind of an injury that you never know.
“You wake up the next day and everything’s great or just keeps on going the same way so it’s very hard to monitor what’s going on with him. But obviously we’re missing him. He’s got size. He’s got some offensive abilities on our second power play, he made a big difference on it.
Without Kubina due to a concussion, the Lightning power play went 1-for-5 against Boston in Game 1.
“But right now we’ve adapted. [Marc-Andre] Bergeron’s kind of taken the lead on that power play with [Teddy] Purcell,” said Boucher, whose team got its man-advantage goal from Bergeron. “And we had to adapt because he was doing very well for us.”