Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas will step on the TD Garden ice Tuesday night as the starting goalie for the Florida Panthers.
Thomas participated in his team’s pregame skate Tuesday and was the first goalie to leave the ice, meaning he’ll likely start between the pipes for the Panthers.
Tim Thomas the first goalie off at #FlaPanthers pregame skate, looks to be starting tonight in Boston ^CS—
Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 28, 2014
“I haven’t put too much thought into it, to be honest with you,” Thomas said Monday, via ESPN.com
It will be Thomas’ first start in Boston since his departure from the team after the 2011-12 season. The last time the Panthers played at TD Garden, Thomas was sidelined with a groin injury and didn’t play. That didn’t stop the Bruins faithful from welcoming its team’s 2011 Stanley Cup hero back with a standing ovation, while a video tribute to the goaltender played on the jumbotron during a TV timeout.
“That was awesome,” Thomas said. “I was very honored. It was a great tribute. The way it worked out, I’m happy I didn’t play my first game back here because it gave me time to come back. I did get a flood of emotions — all good.
“It was actually better that I wasn’t playing because I could appreciate it a bit more, because when I’m playing I’ll be focused on what I can do,” Thomas said.
The B’s defeated Thomas and the Panthers, 3-2, in October at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Thomas is 14-14-3 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage with the Panthers.
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