The Boston Bruins
should be whole again on their back end tonight for the first time in more than a week, as defenseman Andrew Ference
will return from his three-game suspension.
Ference earned the ban against the New York Rangers
Jan. 21, when he awkwardly pushed defenseman Ryan McDonagh
into the end wall. Combined with Adam McQuaid
's apparent return to health after catching a rut in the ice in the third period Tuesday and missing practice Wednesday, Ference's return will provide the Bruins with their usual sextet of blueliners against Carolina at the TD Garden.
"Well, I think he's been a pretty stable force for us back there," Bruins coach Claude Julien
said about Ference, who has provided the team with 4 goals and 20 points so far this season. "I've liked his game this year. He's been a real healthy player. And I think that's what's held him back in the past, as far as people appreciating him for what he really is."
While Ference and McQuaid are scheduled to rejoin the lineup, Nathan Horton
(concussion) has still not done any physical activity. Julien said the forward is improving and could exert himself later in the week.
Here is the Bruins' projected lineup:
- David Krejci
- Rich Peverley
- Patrice Bergeron
- Tyler Seguin
- Chris Kelly
- Zach Hamill
- Gregory Campbell
- Shawn Thornton
- Johnny Boychuk
- Joe Corvo
- Adam McQuaid