Tim Thomas Expected to Start in Goal As Shorthanded Bruins Take on Chicago Without David Krejci, Adam McQuaid

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The Bruins will look to get back on track in a matchup of the last two Stanley Cup champions Saturday night in Chicago, and as expected they will do it without two key regulars.

Top-line center David Krejci remains back in Boston with a core injury suffered Tuesday in practice, while defenseman Adam McQuaid will also miss the game after crashing headfirst into the boards in the third period of Wednesday's loss in Carolina. The Bruins still have not officially labeled McQuaid's injury as a concussion, but he has been suffering headaches and neck pain since the incident.

Tyler Seguin will again center the top line in Krejci's place, and Matt Bartkowski gets back into the lineup on defense to fill in for McQuaid. Seguin had a goal and a strong all-around effort in his first game skating between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton on Wednesday.

Tim Thomas, who is just 1-2-0 this year despite a 2.03 GAA and a .933 save percentage, was the first goalie off the ice at Saturday's morning skate, indicating he'll likely get the call to start against the Blackhawks. He'll need better support than he's gotten so far this season with the Bruins struggling out of the gate with a 1-3-0 record.

"We have no choice, we have to elevate our game," Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters after Saturday's morning skate. "We know where we are right now, and that's not where we want to be. Our game needs to get better and those kinds of teams, if you don't play hard and if you don't play with confidence, they're going to expose you."

The Blackhawks have their own injury issues. Talented winger Marian Hossa did not participate in their morning skate and will be a game-time decision with an upper-body injury. Viktor Stalberg could fill in for Hossa. Stalberg has been cleared to play after missing the first three games of the season with a knee injury, but likely will only get in the lineup if Hossa can't go.

The Blackhawks appear to be leaning toward dressing seven defensemen, which would put 6-foot-8, 258-pound enforcer John Scott in the lineup. Scott has played just one game so far this year, but could be needed if Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton seeks revenge for last year's meeting, when he was chirped from the bench by an unidentified Blackhawk as Thornton skated off the ice bleeding profusely from taking an accidental skate to the face.

Corey Crawford is expected to get the start in goal for Chicago. He's 1-1-0 with a 2.05 GAA and a .926 save percentage so far this season.

Chris Lee and Ron Martell will be the referees, with Don Henderson and Brad Lazarowich working the lines.

Projected Bruins lines

Forwards

Milan Lucic-Tyler Seguin-Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley

Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron

Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Defense

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk 

Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo

Andrew Ference-Matt Bartkowski

Goalies

Tim Thomas

Tuukka Rask

Scratches: David Krejci (core injury), Adam McQuaid (head/neck), Steven Kampfer (knee)

Projected Blackhawks lines

Forwards

Andrew Brunette-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Sharp

Daniel Carcillo-Patrick Kane-Marian Hossa

Bryan Bickell-Dave Bolland-Michael Frolik

John Scott-Marcus Kruger-Jamal Mayers

Defense

Duncan Keith-Nick Leddy

Niklas Hjalmarsson-Brent Seabrook

Steve Montador-Sean O'Donnell

Goalies

Corey Crawford

Ray Emery

Scratches: Rostislav Olesz, Viktor Stalberg, Sami Lepisto, Ben Smith (concussion) 

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