A good sign for the Bruins: Patrice Bergeron was on hand at the Garden yesterday, the first time he's seen his teammates since suffering a mild concussion in Game 4 against Philadelphia last Friday.

The Bruins center did not speak with the press, but coach Claude Julien reported he is improving.

"He's doing better," Julien said. "He's here and he's doing better. He's dealing with the concussion symptoms and everything else, the protocols of it. I think we're getting some positive feedback from him."

The B's aren't making any firm predictions on a possible return by their leading playoff scorer. But privately the they make it clear they intend to be very cautious with Bergeron, given his concussion history, and given their unfortunate experience with Marc Savard, who probably returned too early during last year's playoffs and then had a summertime relapse.

It's a safe assumption that Bergeron will miss the first two games of the series, and there is a real possibility he will miss the entire third round.

Chris Kelly, who has played quite well this postseason, will step into Bergeron's spot on the line with Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi.

"I'm not Patrice Bergeron," Kelly said. "He's irreplaceable. He's a great player who does everything extremely well. I'm just going to go out and play the game that I know how to play. Hopefully good things happen.