Bourque returns to Habs practice


The Montreal Canadiens had a welcome sight at practice on Tuesday as forward Rene Bourque skated with teammates for the first time since Feb. 21.

Bourque, 31, has been out of the lineup since a 4-3 OT loss to the Islanders almost a month ago. He missed two games with what was thought to have been the flu but, after further testing, was diagnosed with a concussion.

The loss was a big one at the time as the veteran winger had gotten off to a solid start to the season, showing good chemistry on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

Bourque had 5G-5A-10PTS through the first 17 games while averaging 17:36 time on ice per contest.

It remains unclear what his timetable is for returning to game action.

Tuesday was a significant step — it was his first time skating with teammates rather than by himself — but he was wearing a non-contact jersey during practice and still requires medical clearance.

Montreal plays tonight at home against Buffalo before going to New York to face the Isles on Thursday.

Then it’s back home for a rematch with the Sabres on Saturday, followed by a big three-game stretch against the Penguins, Bruins and Rangers.