Zdeno Chara will play his 1,000th NHL game Saturday night in Los Angeles. Rich Peverley will have to wait to play his 326th, but not for too much longer.
While Chara celebrates his milestone against the Kings, Peverley is scheduled to skate in warm-ups with the Bruins, but has already been ruled out for the game. He continues to progress from the knee injury that has sidelined him since Feb. 15, and he could return to game action as early as Sunday in Anaheim.
"He's going to take warm-ups, and again, it's a matter of inching closer," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the club's morning skate. "The decision has been made, he's not going to play tonight. The decision hasn't been made for next game. If he doesn't, then it allows him three more days [to rehab]. But he's feeling good enough [to take warm-ups] and I want him to get the feel of being around the team and warm-up is something that's going to be good for him.
"[Sunday] we'll see," Julien added. "I haven't been told by our medical people that he's been cleared yet. He's feeling good. [Friday's] practice was a good practice for him."
With Peverley remaining out for at least one more game, the Bruins are expected to keep the same lineup against the Kings they've used the past three games. That would leave Joe Corvo, Mike Mottau and Trent Whitfield as the healthy scratches.
Tim Thomas is expected to start again in goal. It will be his 15th straight appearance if he plays, but the workload hasn't been an issue of late. After initially struggling in the first eight games after Tuukka Rask was injured (2-5-0, 4.26 GAA, .830 save percentage), Thomas has turned things around in his last three games (2-1-0, 1.30 GAA, .942 save percentage).
The Kings may have an even hotter netminder, though. UMass-Amherst product Jonathan Quick is 5-0-0 with a 1.55 GAA and a .942 save percentage over his last five starts and is coming off a 1-0 shootout victory over the NHL-leading St. Louis Blues. Quick is also 5-1-0 with a 2.06 GAA and a .928 save percentage in his career against Boston.
Thomas, meanwhile, has never beaten the Kings in six career games against Los Angeles. He's 0-1-4 with a 2.39 GAA and a .919 save percentage. The only other teams in the NHL that Thomas has yet to beat are Minnesota (0-2-0) and Columbus (0-1-1), but he's played against the Kings in more games than against the Wild and Blue Jackets combined.
The Kings remain without Simon Gagne, who has been out since late December with a concussion. Brad Richardson, Davis Drewiske and heavyweight Kevin Westgarth are the expected healthy scratches.
Rob Martell and Brad Watson will be the referees, with Brad Lazarowich and Mark Wheler working the lines.
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jordan Caron
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Nathan Horton (concussion), Rich Peverley (knee), Tuukka Rask (groin), Mike Mottau, Joe Corvo, Trent Whitfield
Projected Kings lines
Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams
Dwight King-Mike Richards-Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner-Jarret Stoll-Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford-Colin Fraser-Jordan Nolan
Rob Scuderi-Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell-Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez-Matt Greene
Scratches: Brad Richardson, Kevin Westgarth, David Drewiske, Simon Gagne (concussion), Scott Parse (hip)
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