Patrice Bergeron skated for the fourth straight day yesterday, and coach Claude Julien would not divulge in his morning press conference whether the center was going to play.

The great mystery soon fizzled when Bergeron went out to skate again in the afternoon with the B's extra players who were not scheduled to play.

But clearly Bergeron appears close to a return. He skated for an hour and 10 minutes on Monday and then had what amounted to a double session yesterday. A spokesman for the Bruins last night said he believed Bergeron would be traveling with the team to today to Tampa. If he continues to progress at his current pace, Bergeron could well be a go for tomorrow's Game 3 or Game 4 on Saturday.

His teammates are buoyed by the possibility.

"Well, we're feeling good about ourselves," David Krejci said after last night's 6-5 win in Game 2 that evened the series. "Obviously, I don't know if he's going to play or not. It's up to him and the team doctors, but there's a chance he might be back. We're excited. He's a big part of our game, and it's just going to help the team if he's going to be back."

Mark Recchi echoed those sentiments.