Ference in, McQuaid out


BOSTON -- Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference will return to the lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury.

Ference, who had offseason surgery to repair a hernia/groin injury, had played in every game this season until his recent injury.

“He seems to be good and cleared to go,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien.

With Ference's return, fellow blueliner Adam McQuaid will be given the night off, Julien said at the team's morning skate.

“It’s not a tough decision because in his case he’s been playing banged up the last couple of weeks,” Julien said. “The medical staff said it would be beneficial for him to take a little bit of a break. He could certainly play through it if he had to, but we’ve got a healthy back end, so we might as well try to get our guys as healthy as possible.”

Since defenseman Matt Hunwick was traded to Colorado on Dec. 1, McQuaid has played in 23 of the last 24 games, missing only one game due to an undisclosed injury.

“Most players will play through some of those injuries,” Julien said. “It’s one of those that if we didn’t have Ference, [McQuaid] would be in the lineup. ... I don’t think there are too many players that play at 100 percent anymore.”