Tim Thomas Expected to Return to Net for Bruins in Clash With Flyers

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BOSTON — Tim Thomas never got a chance to play against Philadelphia in last year's historic playoff clash.

He did get a shot against the Flyers down in Philadelphia earlier this month, and responded by not allowing any of the Flyers' 41 shots to get by him. It appears Thomas will get another opportunity to exact some revenge against Philadelphia on Saturday when the Broad Street Bullies make their first appearance at the Garden since last spring's playoff debacle.

The Bruins canceled their morning skate, with just a handful of players choosing to take to the Garden ice. Among the skaters was Tuukka Rask, and his decision to get in some extra work is a good indication that Thomas will be back in net for this one after Rask earned the victory in Thursday's 5-2 win over the New York Islanders.

Other than the likely goalie switch, the Bruins will stick with the same lineup they used on Thursday. That means Daniel Paille, who also skated in the morning, will be the healthy scratch again. Mark Stuart (broken hand) also remains out on defense, so Steven Kampfer will play again after the first-year pro made an impressive debut against the Islanders.  

For the Flyers, Woonsocket, R.I. native Brian Boucher is expected to get the start in goal for this one. He's started just two of the last eight games, but is 3-0-1 in his last four appearances. Overall, he is 4-3-2 with a 2.39 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

There could be one significant change up front for Philadelphia. Agitator Daniel Carcillo hasn't played in the last 12 games, first with a knee injury then as a healthy scratch as Flyers coach Peter Laviolette chose not to shake up the lineup with the team on a roll with the 3-0 loss to the Bruins the club's only regulation loss in the last 10 games.

But Nikolay Zherdev was kept out on the ice for extra work after the Flyers' morning skate, indicating that he is likely the odd man out in this one. Zherdev has nine goals and one assist in 28 games this year, but just one point in his last six games and has seen his ice-time reduced.

Defenseman Oskars Bartulis was also out on the ice after the skate, and he is expected to again be the scratch on the blue line. He's played just three games this season, last appearing back on Nov. 1.  

Projected Bruins lines:

Forwards
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Mark Recchi-Patrice Bergeron-Blake Wheeler
Tyler Seguin-Marc Savard-Michael Ryder
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Defense
Zdeno Chara- Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Dennis Seidenberg-Steven Kampfer

Goalies
Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

Scratches: Daniel Paille, Mark Stuart (hand)

Projected Flyers lines:

Forwards
James van Riemsdyk-Mike Richards-Andreas Nodl
Scott Hartnell-Danny Briere-Ville Leino
Daniel Carcillo-Claude Giroux-Jeff Carter
Jody Shelley-Blair Betts-Darroll Powe

Defense
Chris Pronger-Matt Carle
Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn
Andrej Meszaros-Sean O'Donnell

Goalies
Sergei Bobrovsky
Bria Boucher

Scratches: Nikolay Zherdev, Oskars Bartulis

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