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Bruins defenseman Ference returns for playoffs

NHL.com @NHL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Boston defenseman Andrew Ference will play for the Bruins in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Ference was declared ready to go after missing the final nine games of the regular season because of a hernia.

The addition of Ference bolsters a depleted Bruins blue line. Defenseman Mark Stuart (finger) and Dennis Seidenberg (arm laceration) continue to be out.

Ference, who signed a three-year contract extension in March, didn't score a goal in 51 games for Boston this season.

The Sabres will be without two of their top six forwards Thursday. Jochen Hecht is out indefinitely after undergoing finger surgery, and Drew Stafford is still working his way back from a concussion sustained in the second-to-last game of the season.

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