Bruins' Adam McQuaid back

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid -- out the last four games with a neck injury -- was back in the lineup Thursday night at TD Garden for the first game in a home-and-home set with the Canadiens.

Also, Tim Thomas started in goal for the Bruins, even though Tuukka Rask was the first off the ice at Thursday morning's game-day skate.

Before the game, coach Claude Julien stressed the importance of a good start for the Bruins and trying to get the first goal, something they haven't done in the last six games. With the Habs playing Wednesday night, this is the third straight game that the Bruins are playing a team that played the night before. So far they're 1-1 but as Julien pointed out, his team isn't getting the start they need to take advantage of some tired legs on the opposite end of the ice.

"There's no doubt you have to have a good start and a team that's played two games in two nights wants to make sure they take care of that first period and make sure that they stay in the game," Julien said. "They want to handle that barrage that the team that's fresh should be giving them. Every team is going to handle it it's own way and I know that we have to have a good start, but we have to start playing with the lead here and that's something that we failed to do now for many games."

James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.