TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
These teams played to a 2-2 tie at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday.
``It's very disappointing,'' Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro said. ``It's a point we let slip away against a team we're chasing in the standings.''
Thornton, the team leader with 34 assists and 45 points, returned to Boston's lineup after missing three games with a fractured cheekbone. Thornton, wearing a cage to protect his face, assisted on Glen Murray's first-period goal.
``He looked to me like he really didn't miss a beat,'' Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. ``For having some time off, I thought he had a pretty solid game for us.''
Thornton was injured Jan. 10 in a fight with Eric Lindros of the New York Rangers.
``It was fine. The cage kind of saved my face from two high sticks so I was kind of lucky I had it tonight,'' Thornton said.
Peca was scratched for the second consecutive game Tuesday because of a chest muscle injury.
The Islanders have played well despite the absence of three of their best players, going 4-1-2 to pull within two points of Montreal for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
DiPietro, unbeaten in a career-best five straight games (4-0-1), figures to make his fourth consecutive start Thursday. During his unbeaten streak, DiPietro has allowed eight goals on 150 shots for a .947 save percentage.
Boston, sixth in the East playoff standings, is 0-2-1 after losing just one of its previous 10 games (8-1-1).