Andrew Ference Playing for Bruins, Jochen Hecht Out for Buffalo in Game 1

The Bruins' blue line will get a boost on Thursday, as Andrew Ference has been cleared to play, according to ESPN.com's Joe McDonald.

On the other bench, the Sabres will be down a man, as Jochen Hecht will not suit up for Buffalo any time soon. The Sabres' official Web site announced Hecht underwent a procedure on his injured finger and will miss weeks.

"Disappointing," Ruff said. "But the playoffs are about losing people, and people stepping in and playing bigger roles. Obviously he’s been an important part of our team for the year and now somebody has to step in and fill that void for us."

Hecht scored 21 goals and had 21 assists on the season, though he was kept off the scoresheet against Boston all season.

Ference missed 17 games down the stretch for the Bruins with what was originally determined to be a groin injury. It was later revealed to be a hernia. On the season, Ference missed 31 games, and the Bruins suffered without him on the ice. Whether it was mere coincidence or not, the Bruins went just 11-14-6 with Ference out due to injury.

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