Boston's leading scorer had missed two games
Thornton, the team's captain and leading scorer, took the opening faceoff against the Montreal Canadiens.
Thornton was hurt Thursday night against the Washington Capitals when he fell after being hit on the wrist. He missed games Saturday and Sunday. Neither he nor coach Mike Sullivan gave details of the injury, but it was thought to affect his ribs or wrist.
Thornton practiced with the Bruins on Tuesday for the first time since he was hurt and said he would wait until Wednesday morning to see how he felt.
"The pain I don't think will be a problem," he said after Tuesday's practice. "Just to see if I can actually go out there and move the way I want to move and things like that" was a greater uncertainty.
Thornton led the Bruins with 23 goals and 50 assists this season and missed just five games.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Luongo shuts out Sabres in return to Florida
- Franzen's 2 goals highlight Wings' barrage
- Rangers use late rally to outstrip Hurricanes
- Moore seeks resolution 10 years after attack
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Reebok Men's San Jose Sharks Joe Thornton #19 Home Premier Replica Jersey
- NHL Home
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Columbus B. Jackets
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Washington Capitals
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Detroit Red Wings
- Florida Panthers
- Montreal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Toronto Maple Leafs