Berkshire Bank Faceoff: Bruins Welcome Joe Thornton, Sharks To TD Garden

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BOSTON — It’s reunion week at TD Garden as the Bruins welcome back a few former players in two home matchups over the next few days.

Tuesday night’s opponent is the 4-1-1 San Jose Sharks led by first-line center Joe Thornton. Jumbo Joe was selected by Boston with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 NHL draft, and he went on to tally 454 points in 532 games with the Original Six club before he was traded during the 2005-06 campaign.

Eight years later, Thornton remains one of the league’s elite playmakers. He has a team-leading five assists in six games and still is one of the most valuable players in the league at age 36. Thornton recently reached the 1,200-point mark, and he’s posted four points (two goals, two assists) in seven games against his former team since the start of the 2008-09 season.

As for the Bruins, the most notable change to the lineup is the addition of defenseman Matt Bartkowski. He likely will skate alongside Adam McQuaid on the third pairing in the absence of the injured Kevan Miller. Seth Griffith also could feature in the lineup. He skated with David Krejci and Milan Lucic on the B’s top line during Tuesday’s morning skate.

Check out the expected lines and pairings for the Bruins and Sharks below.

BOSTON BRUINS (3-4-0, 5th in Atlantic)
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Seth Griffith
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Simon Gagne
Extra: Matt Fraser

Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg-Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

SAN JOSE SHARKS (4-1-1, 3rd in Pacific)
Matthew Nieto-Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau-Logan Couture-Tommy Wingels
Tomas Hertl-James Sheppard-Andrew Desjardins
John Scott-Adam Burish-Eriah Hayes

Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Justin Braun
Matt Irwin-Brent Burns
Jason Demers-Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi

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Berkshire Bank Foundation

During the 2017-2018 regular season, Berkshire Bank Foundation will donate $100 for each Bruins assist to three local non-profit organizations. Click here to see official rules.