BOSTON — The Bruins had more to celebrate than just their sixth straight win on Tuesday night.
There was also positive news on the injury front. After Daniel Paille stated Tuesday morning that he was hopeful of returning from surgery on his broken nose in Thursday's game against Columbus, Bruins coach Claude Julien also had good news on defenseman Andrew Ference after Tuesday's victory.
Ference has been sidelined since suffering a lower-body injury last Thursday against Edmonton, but returned to the ice for the first time Tuesday morning. He skated on his own before the rest of the team held their morning skate, and Tuesday night Julien reported that Ference had suffered no setbacks from the on-ice session.
"He did well [Tuesday]," Julien said after the Bruins' 4-3 victory over New Jersey. "He's probably going to practice with us [Wednesday] with the whole team, so things are looking good."
There's still no definitive timetable for Ference's return to game action, but a return to practice would be a big step in his recovery.
"That will be just become a day-to-day situation," Julien said. "So it's a positive step as far as him more than likely practicing with us [Wednesday]."
With Ference out, Steven Kampfer has been in the lineup the last two games, but played only 11:00 on Saturday and 9:07 on Tuesday.