Tim Thomas Expected in Net Again as Bruins Take on Jonas Gustavsson, Leafs in Toronto

The Bruins will look to snap a two-game slide against a club they’ve beaten soundly in all four previous meetings this season.

The Bruins visit Toronto on Tuesday for the final time this year, having already posted 7-0 and 6-3 wins at the Air Canada Centre. Boston also won 6-2 and 4-1 back at TD Garden, giving them a 23-6 edge overall in the four games.

But this will be the Leafs’ first home game under new coach Randy Carlyle, who won his debut behind the Toronto bench Saturday in Montreal.

The Leafs are returning more to their old truculent ways under Carlyle, who prefers dressing a much tougher lineup than predecessor Ron Wilson. Tough guy Jay Rosehill was recalled from the minors and will make his return in the lineup for this one. Toronto will be without Mike Brown, who is out with a hand injury suffered in a fight Saturday.

Defenseman John-Michael Liles is also a game-time decision with a high fever. If he can’t play, Cody Franson will return to the lineup on the blue line.

There will be skill on the ice as well, including center Mikhail Grabovski, who agreed to a five-year, $27.5-million extension on Tuesday. That $5.5-million cap hit will make him Toronto’s highest-paid forward, just a notch above ex-Bruin Phil Kessel ($5.4 million).

Jonas Gustavsson was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate and is expected to get the start in goal. Gustavsson is 2-3-1 with a 3.08 GAA and a .902 save percentage all-time against Boston.

To no one’s surprise, Tim Thomas was the first goalie off for Boston and is expected to get the start. Thomas (3-0-0, 1.67 GAA, .944 save percentage this year against Toronto) will get most of the starts from here on in with Tuukka Rask (groin) sidelined 4-6 weeks. If newly-signed veteran Marty Turco clears waivers on Wednesday, he could give Thomas an occasional break, but expect a heavy dose of Thomas the rest of the way.

In other injury news, coach Claude Julien said that Daniel Paille (upper body) and Andrew Ference (lower body) were expected to begin skating on their own back in Boston on Tuesday.

Greg Kimmerly and Steve Kozari will be the referees, with Steve Miller and Don Henderson working the lines.

Projected Bruins lines

Forwards
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin
Brian Rolston-Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron
Lane MacDermid-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Defense
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid

Goalies
Tim Thomas
Michael Hutchinson

Scratches: Nathan Horton (concussion), Rich Peverley (knee), Daniel Paille (upper body), Andrew Ference (lower body), Tuukka Rask (groin), Mike Mottau

Projected Maple Leafs lines

Forwards
Joffrey Lupul-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur-Mikhail Grabovski-Matt Frattin
Nikolai Kulemin-David Steckel-Colby Armstrong
Jay Rosehill-Tim Connolly-Joey Crabb

Defense
Dion Phaneuf-Carl Gunnarsson
John-Michael Liles-Mike Komisarek
Jake Gardiner-Luke Schenn

Goalies
Jonas Gustavsson
James Reimer

Scratches: Mike Brown (hand), Cody Franson, Matthew Lombardi

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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