Bruins Notes: Dennis Seidenberg ‘Excited To Be Back’ After 14-Game Absence

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BOSTON — Dennis Seidenberg made his long-awaited return to the Bruins’ lineup Thursday.

The veteran defenseman sat out Boston’s first 14 games after undergoing back surgery in September, and he was given a relatively light workload in his season debut. Seidenberg logged 15:34 of ice time — the lowest total of any Bruins blueliner — as the B’s lost 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden.

“I was a little nervous in the beginning, but I was very excited to be back and being able to play,” Seidenberg said. “It?s been a long time, but it was OK.”

Seidenberg had not seen game action since the 2014-15 regular-season finale, and his status for Thursday was unclear until minutes before puck drop. He ended up being highly involved despite his limited playing time, finishing with a game-high six hits and absorbing his fair share, as well, including one by Cody McLeod that sparked a first-period fight.

While admitting he is not yet back to full strength, Seidenberg called his performance “a good first step.”

“You want to go on and feel like you?re fine, and I did,” he said. “Sometimes you can avoid (the hits), and sometimes you just have to take them.”

Seidenberg is hoping for a better bounce-back than he experienced following his last major injury: a torn ACL that cut his 2013-14 campaign short after 34 games. He returned to play 82 games last season but struggled mightily, posting the worst numbers (three goals, 11 assists) of his Bruins tenure.

“Last time I came back, definitely, at times I was struggling,” Seidenberg said. “I felt a little better (Thursday). Felt like I made quicker decisions and watching games definitely helps. Last time I came back from the knee injury, didn?t do anything all summer and basically didn?t see any hockey or watch any hockey. But being at games, watching the games definitely helped getting into that game mode a little bit.”

Some additional notes from Thursday’s action:

— Bruins rookie and East Longmeadow, Mass., native Frank Vatrano made his Garden debut against the Avalanche. The 21-year-old winger, who had a strong contingent of friends and family in attendance, did not factor into the scoring but teamed with linemate Loui Eriksson to create two quality scoring chances early in the second period.

“I obviously dreamed of playing for (the Bruins) ever since I was a young guy,” said Vatrano, who tallied five shots on goal in the loss. “It was the team I rooted for.”

Vatrano wore a Providence Bruins T-shirt as he spoke with reporters after the game, a reminder that he was playing in the American Hockey League less than a week earlier.

“He had a couple of chances, but I think as a team all of us could?ve been a little better,” head coach Claude Julien said. “He?s young player that comes in, and every game he plays, he has opportunities.”

— Thursday was Military Appreciation Day at TD Garden. The Bruins wore camouflage warmup jerseys to commemorate the occasion, Col. Benjamin T. Watson dropped the ceremonial first puck, and various servicemen and women were recognized throughout the evening.

A photo posted by Boston Bruins (@nhlbruins) on

— Max Talbot, who was reassigned to Providence earlier this week, scored his first AHL goal in nearly a decade Wednesday night.

Talbot’s last goal on the NHL’s lower circuit came way back on Oct. 21, 2006, when he was a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He has a goal and four assists in four games for the P-Bruins this season.

— Here’s your photo of the night, starring Seidenberg and a seemingly terrified Jack Skille:

Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg

Photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg falls on top of Colorado Avalanche right wing Jack Skille.
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