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Game Day: Bruins @ Senators

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
6:41 p.m.

The Bruins Lines...

The live blog can be found here.

6:30 p.m.
Tim Thomas led the Bruins out of the tunnel. He will be in goal for Boston. The Senators send Brian Elliott into the pipes.

Shawn Thornton is on the ice, as well.

5:53 p.m.

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Mark Recchi should play his 1500th NHL game tonight and was one of the topics of conversation during Coach Julien's pregame presser earlier this afternoon.

"He's starting to get into those areas where he gets rewarded," he said of Recchi's habit of standing at the top of the crease. "That's where he excels.

"In the dressing room, as you know, he's been a pretty good leader throughout his career and he's really helped our young guys along."

Recchi is one assist shy of 900 in the NHL and is 1-1-2 in his last five contests. Mark (whose line reads 546-899-1445)is currently among the league's active leaders in assists, points and games played and ranks second among active NHLers in goals.

Boston is his seventh NHL team (the others being Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Montreal, Carolina, Atlanta and Tampa Bay) and he owns Stanley Cup rings from 1991 (PITT) and 2006 (CAR).

Recchi has scored 20+ goals in 16 seasons, including eight of the last nine.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas (30) keeps his eye on a flying puck as teammate Matt Hunwick (48) and Ottawa Senators' Mike Fisher (12) look on during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game in Ottawa, Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Fred Chartrand)
Tim Thomas is expected to make the start tonight, having left the ice first after the morning skate.

Thomas is 3-3-0 this season with a 3.00 goals against average and a .902 save percentage. For his career, Thomas is 112-76-27 with a 2.63 GAA and a .918 sv%.

"The Tank" made 27 saves on October 16th to earn the 13th shutout of his career. That ties him with fan favorite Andy Moog for 10th on the team's shutout list.

Shawn Thornton is a game time decision tonight, but looked very good during the skate and would seem a safe bet for a spot in the lineup.

Thornton has played in seven games and has one goal on the year. Career-wise, Thornton has played in 223 NHL contests and has a 15-16-31 line and 369 minutes in penalties.

Thornton has missed two games with an undisclosed injury and was mentioned as just one of the injuries that the Bruins were fighting through when Julien gave his update to the press.

"That's what we've prided ourselves on," said Julien of his club's depth and ability to overcome injury. "In the past [we've been able] to survive those tough blows.

"There's no doubt that we are missing some big pieces of the puzzle [in Milan Lucic and Marc Savard], but we've got a lot of guys that are looking forward to stepping up and doing the job.

"It's always been a group thing and...that's why I expect anything less this time around," he said.

3:14 p.m.
It's almost time to be heading to the bus for the game.

In the meantime, I am occasionally watching Concordia roll over McGill in Canadian (three down) college football. It's 30-9 in the third quarter (JB Note: Concordia held on for a 30-25 win!).

BTW: thinks the Sens lines will look like this:

1:07 p.m.

Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice and this should indicate that he will be this evening's starter.

Coach Julien said that Shawn Thornton remains a game time decision.

11:44 a.m.
Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton (77) throws Ottawa Senators' Matt Carkner (39) to the ice during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game in Ottawa Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Fred Chartrand)
Everyone is on the ice. Thornton looks very healthy and is is usual boisterous self -- a very good sign.

Funny, Thornton just let out a huge, "Whoooooooooo!" Very similar to the Woo sound that is played after every Bruins goal..

11:30 a.m.

The Bruins are on their bench getting ready for morning skate. It looks like the skate will be well populated.

9:22 a.m.

What we know about tonight's game is this: Not much.

At least lineup wise...

We know that the Bruins have 23 players active and ready to play -- two goalies, fourteen forwards and seven D.

We know that during the Philadelphia game the three guys sitting next to me in the pressbox were Shawn Thornton (injury), Guillaume Lefebvre and Johnny Boychuk (scratches).

And we know that both Thornton and Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien declared the forward ready to play (leaving a small out to see how #22 felt in the a.m.).

Goaltending is another question mark.

Sure, it would make sense to see the Bruins go back to Tim Thomas today against a divisional opponent on the road.

On the other hand, Tuukka Rask almost single-handedly earned the B's a point in Philadelphia and Julien has been known to ride what he perceives as the hot hand.

So. What's your lineup? Who's your goalie?

Coach Julien knows this: Competition is healthy for a hockey club.

"Exactly," said Julien when asked if the extra bodies created that competition. "It was tough during the first little while here with just having the almost bare minimum of players.

"We didn't have that competition. And the last thing you want is for the players to get comfortable. Because, it is not good for them and it is not good for your team.

"Competition is good. 'Healthy' competition is what I call it. And now we have some of that," he said.

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