By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins will return to action Thursday night, and they’ll do so with fans there to cheer them on inside the TD Garden.

The Bruins were back on the practice ice Wednesday night after the team’s week-long COVID break, and are ready to go Thursday night against the New York Islanders. TD Garden will have 12 percent of its capacity — or just over 2,100 fans — in attendance, the first time the Bruins will play on their home ice in front of fans since March 7 of last year.

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It’s not much, but the Bruins are excited that they’ll finally get to see and hear fans once again.

“Definitely excited about that. Probably the best news of the week is we get to play [Thursday] in front of our fans,” captain Patrice Bergeron said after Wednesday’s practice. “We’re looking forward to that; obviously it has been a while.”

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The Bruins knocked off some rust with an evening practice, the team’s first after spending five days in quarantine. Boston had two games postponed after five players landed on the COVID list, but there were no new positive tests for Boston on Wednesday and the team was given the green light to return to action.

Three of those five players are now off the COVID list, with David Pastrnak, David Krejci and Craig Smith all hitting the ice for Wednesday’s practice. Sean Kuraly and Jake DeBrusk remain on the list, however.

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Goaltender Tuukka Rask was also on the ice Wednesday, and head coach Bruce Cassidy said Rask would get the start as long as he feels good Thursday morning. Rask hasn’t played in nearly three weeks with a back injury.

CBSBoston.com Staff