Bruins to Use Normal Lines, Tim Thomas in Net Against Senators

by

When something is working, why mess with the formula?

That certainly appears to be the thinking of Bruins coach Claude Julien, who doesn't expect to make any lineup changes for Saturday night's game at Ottawa after Thursday's impressive 2-0 win over Toronto, Boston's fifth win in its last six games.

The Bruins (5-2-0, 10 points) held an optional morning skate and Tim Thomas did not participate, but Julien told reporters afterward that the red-hot netminder would be in goal again on Saturday.

"He's been good for us. He's really been good," said Julien, as reported by the Boston Globe. "He's at the top of his game. He feels great. It's a long season, so we've got a hot goaltender here that we're probably going to ride tonight."

That's a departure from Julien's usual practice of refusing to comment on his plans in goal for any particular game, but when a goalie is as hot as Thomas is right now, it's hard for even Julien to ignore the obvious.

Thomas is 5-0-0 with an NHL-best 0.60 GAA, a .981 save percentage and two shutouts through five starts. He's also 16-7-2 with a 2.10 GAA, a .932 save percentage and four shutouts in his career against Ottawa.

As for the rest of the lineup, expect the line combinations to remain the same for a seventh straight game. With former Senators tough guy Brian McGrattan on a conditioning assignment in Providence this weekend, Daniel Paille will be the only healthy scratch up front.

With Johnny Boychuk out with a fractured forearm, there are no healthy scratches on the blue line either, as Adam McQuaid will play his second game of the season.

The Senators (4-5-1, 9 points) will get one key player back, but also lose another top forward. Center Jason Spezza skated this morning and will return after missing four games with a groin injury. He'll join Peter Regin and Alex Kovalev on the second line.

Nick Foligno had been on that line, but he's moved up to the first line with Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson as Milan Michalek will be out of the lineup for about a week with tendonitis in his left knee. The Bruins won't miss Michalek, as he has five goals in eight career games against Boston.

Injured goalie Pascal Leclaire (groin) and defenseman Filip Kuba (broken leg) both skated Saturday morning, but will remain out. Brian Elliott is expected to start in goal, with Robin Lehner dressing as the backup. 

 

Projected Bruins lines:

Forwards

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton

Jordan Caron-Patrice Bergeron-Blake Wheeler

Mark Recchi-Tyler Seguin-Michael Ryder

Shawn Thornton-Gregory Campbell-Brad Marchand

Defense

Zdeno Chara- Andrew Ference

Mark Stuart- Dennis Seidenberg

Matt Hunwick-Adam McQuaid

Goalies

Tim Thomas

Tuukka Rask

Scratches: Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk (forearm)

 

Projected Senators lines:

Forwards

Nick Foligno-Mike Fisher-daniel Alfredsson

Peter Regin-Jason Spezza-Alex Kovalev

Jarkko Ruutu-Chris Kelly-Chris Neil

Ryan Shannon-Zack Smith-Jesse Winchester

Defense

Chris Phillips-Sergei Gonchar

Chris Campoli-Matt Carkner

David Hale-Erik Carlson

Goalies

Brian Elliott

Robin Lehner

Scratches: Brian Lee, Milan Michalek (knee)

Previous Article

Which Bench Player’s Play Has Been Most Encouraging for the Celtics Thus Far in 2010?

Next Article

Providence Bruins Coach Rob Murray Cites Missed Opportunities as Cause of Team’s Woes

Picked For You