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Ference will help depleted defense

Updated: April 15, 2010, 1:05 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Boston Bruins oft-injured defenseman Andrew Ference has been cleared to play and will be in the lineup Thursday for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Buffalo Sabres.

Ference missed 17 of the last 21 games with a hernia/groin injury, which will require surgery once the season is over.

"It's something that hopefully builds some character with our hockey club," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Having him back gives us some experience, ...

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