Shawn Thornton got the night off Monday in Carolina, but it sounds as if the veteran forward will return to the Bruins lineup Tuesday in New York.
Boston head coach Claude Julien wanted to reward Jordan Caron for playing well during practice as of late, so Julien inserted Caron in for Thornton on the first half of the back-to-back. Julien also said, however, that there was a good chance Thornton would return to the lineup Tuesday against the Rangers.
With the Bruins facing a tougher physical challenge against a strong Rangers team, it makes sense to reinsert Thornton, especially given his experience and what he brings to the table.
Thornton’s return to the lineup will likely be overshadowed by a big return on the other side of the ice. Rick Nash is going to be making his return after missing more than a month with a concussion. Nash was injured just three games into the season, and he’s finally declared himself ready to return. That should only benefit a Rangers team that is starting to hit its stride in Alain Vigneault‘s first season behind the bench in Manhattan.
Vigneault will tab Henrik Lundqvist as his starting goalie, while Julien wouldn’t say who he’s starting in net.
See the rest of the projected lines below.
Bruins (13-6-1, 27 points)
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Loui Eriksson
Carl Soderberg — Chris Kelly — Reilly Smith
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara — Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg — Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski — Johnny Boychuk
Rangers (10-10-0, 20 points)
Chris Kreider — Brad Richards — Ryan Callahan
Derick Brassard — Derek Stepan — Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin — Brian Boyle — Rick Nash
Benoit Pouliot — Dominic Moore — Derek Dorsett
Ryan McDonagh — Dan Girardi
Marc Staal — Anton Stralman
John Moore — Justin Falk