BOSTON — The Bruins will get two key players back as they close out a four-game homestand and open up a home-and-home series with Carolina on Monday.
Forward Milan Lucic returns after missing three games with an undisclosed injury, while defenseman Mark Stuart will return after missing 18 games with a broken bone in his hand.
Steven Kampfer will also play despite suffering a broken nose in Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh, but Andrew Ference will miss his second game with an upper-body injury.
Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn’t reveal who will come out of the lineup with Lucic back, but Daniel Paille will likely return to the press box despite his improved play of late. The line combinations will also need to undergo an overhaul with Lucic’s return, but exactly how they will shake out won’t be known until the pregame warm-ups.
Julien did reveal that Tim Thomas will get the start in goal after Tuukka Rask played Saturday against the Penguins. Thomas is 20-4-6 with a 1.88 GAA, .943 save percentage and six shutouts this year.
Carolina is expected to counter with Cam Ward, who is 19-12-5 with a 2.67 GAA and two shutouts, including a 37-save effort in a 3-0 win over the Bruins here at the Garden on Nov. 26.
Carolina has just the minimum 20 players on its roster at the moment, so the Hurricanes won’t have any healthy scratches for this one.
Projected Bruins lines
Michael Ryder-Marc Savard-Nathan Horton
Milan Lucic-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Steven Kampfer
Dennis Seidenberg-Johnny Boychuk
Mark Stuart-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Daniel Paille, Andrew Ference (upper body)
Projected Hurricanes lines
Jussi Jokinen-Eric Staal-Erik Cole
Chad LaRose-Jeff Skinner-Tuomo Ruutu
Zach Boychuk-Brandon Sutter-Patrick Dwyer
Sergei Samsonov-Ryan Carter-Troy Bodie
Joni Pitkanen-Jamie McBain
Tim Gleason-Joe Corvo
Ian White-Jay Harrison
Scratches: Jiri Tlusty (upper body)