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McQuaid makes return

Patrice Bergeron (left) and Brad Marchand enjoy the moment after Bergeron’s first-period goal gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Patrice Bergeron (left) and Brad Marchand enjoy the moment after Bergeron’s first-period goal gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / October 28, 2011

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For four games, Adam McQuaid sat out because of symptoms including headaches and neck pain.

Last night, in his first game since Oct. 12, McQuaid was feeling discomfort of another sort: being on the ice for both Montreal goals in a 2-1 loss.

In the second period, McQuaid and partner Andrew Ference couldn’t do much to prevent Erik Cole from deflecting a Jaroslav Spacek shot past Tim Thomas.

In the third, McQuaid’s missed connection with Patrice Bergeron led to a counterattack that resulted in the winning goal.

“I felt good as far as my skating and stuff like that,’’ McQuaid said. “For the most part, being in game situations felt pretty good. But, obviously, I’m not very happy with the end results.’’

It hasn’t been the start McQuaid was seeking. The stay-at-home defenseman missed the season opener because of a virus. In his third game of the season, McQuaid fell into the end boards at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.

McQuaid (zero shots, five attempts blocked, 14:52 of ice time last night) should bring stability to the Boston defense when he gets his rhythm back.

“It’s his first game back,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “The way we’re playing now, it’s too easy to jump on guys. I’m not going to do that.’’

Punch card

At 13:47 of the second period, after Brad Marchand first tangled with P.K. Subban, both were sent off for holding. At 15:53, when they came together for a second time, both dropped their gloves but were intercepted by linesmen Matt MacPherson and Scott Driscoll. They were called for matching delay of game penalties.

Then at 17:55, two seconds after they finished serving those penalties, they shed their gloves, removed their helmets, and flung away their elbow pads to fight for real.

Subban opened the fight with a wild right, nearly tumbling to the ice after the miss. Both grappled in close quarters and connected with several short punches.

The two have a history. On Dec. 16, 2010, Subban flattened Marchand with an open-ice hit at the Bell Centre.

“When we were in the box, he asked me to go, and I said no,’’ Marchand said of the conversation following their first visit to the penalty box. “On the second time, he asked me again, and I couldn’t say no. It was nice to get it out of the way.’’

Rough stuff

Shawn Thornton didn’t record a shot in 7:16 of ice time, but was physical in the offensive zone. In the third period, Thornton took out Subban twice during the same shift. Mathieu Darche had words with Thornton after the second hit. Thornton appeared to ask Darche to fight, but the Canadiens wing declined . . . Ference missed more than half of the first period after being clipped in the face by an errant Lars Eller stick. Ference returned for the start of the second . . . Gregory Campbell suffered a cut on his leg at 3:35 of the second. He was called for tripping former Bruin Petteri Nokelainen. Replays appeared to show that Nokelainen’s skate nicked Campbell’s leg. Campbell returned later in the second.

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