Hard-hitting defenceman Mike Komisarek will return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup Thursday when they host Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final against Boston (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).

Komisarek, 26, missed the final seven games of the regular season with a hip injury.

"He said he's 100 per cent," said Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau. "He hasn't played in a while, so we'll have to watch him."

Carbonneau said Ryan O'Byrne would be taken out of the lineup to make room for Komisarek, who had 17 points in 75 games this season.

The New York native also finished tied first among Montreal blue-liners with a plus-9 rating.

Canadiens defenceman Francis Bouillon, who has a sore right ankle, is not yet ready to return, according to Carbonneau, while captain Saku Koivu remains sidelined with a fractured foot.

Boston coach Claude Julien said the Bruins will be without centre Patrice Bergeron, who is not ready to return. He has battled post-concussion syndrome since taking a hit from behind into the boards by Philadelphia's Randy Jones last Oct. 27.

Julien added team scoring leader Marc Savard, who has fractured discs in his back, will be a game-time decision.

Montreal won the East with a record of 47-25-10 for 104 points, while the Bruins (41-29-12) grabbed the eighth and final playoff berth.