WILMINGTON, Mass. ‘ The good news: Byron Bitz was back on the ice with the rest of the team practicing Friday morning after missing three games with a strained groin muscle. This also means that Bitz ‘ David Krejci ‘s roommate on road trips ‘ hasn’t succumbed to the H1N1 virus that felled the 23-year-old playmaking pivot earlier this week.
Bitz skated on a right wing with Trent Whitfield and Shawn Thornton  during practice at Ristuccia Arena, and rookie Mikko Lehtonen was also still with the team practicing as the 13th forward.
If Bitz is healthy enough to play Saturday against the NHL ‘s stingiest defense in the Buffalo Sabres  ‘ allowing a league-best 24 goals this season, six better than the next-best team ‘ then the emergency call-up will likely be returned to the Providence Bruins.
Here are today’s lines from practice:
Marco Sturm  ‘ Patrice Bergeron  ‘ Mark Recchi 
Blake Wheeler  ‘ Vladimir Sobotka ‘ Michael Ryder 
Daniel Paille  ‘ Steve Begin ‘ Brad Marchand 
Shawn Thornton ‘ Trent Whitfield ‘ Byron Bitz/Mikko Lehtonen
We’ll have more in a bit.