Lucic not where he wants to be yet

BOSTON -- Bruins winger Milan Lucic found out late Thursday afternoon that he was cleared to play and coach Claude Julien inserted his bulky forward for a 17-shift evening in a 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.

Lucic had been out since Nov. 25 with a high ankle sprain and was uncertain of his status as late as the conclusion of Boston's morning skate.

"It felt pretty good," said Lucic, who threw five hits but was a minus-2 on the night. "You know, at the start there, obviously after not playing for six months it was just the timing and all that type of stuff. So, for any player, it takes a little bit of time and I think as the game went on, I started to feel a little more comfortable. But I think there's still a little bit more time -- but hopefully not too much more time to go -- before I can get my game back where I want it to be."

Lucic said he talked with the doctors and did some tests after the morning skate to make his case for playing. The next step is to see how the ankle responds Friday.

"Hopefully there's no setbacks and hopefully it feels good in the morning," he said. "And we'll take it from there."