Bruins centers Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron are currently 1-2 in the team’s scoring race with Savard having 48 points and Bergeron tallying 42 points.
Boston’s Savard and Bergeron rank second among centers in the NHL with a combined 90 points; Only Pittsburgh’s Crosby (61) and Malkin (37) outdistance Boston’s Savvy and Bergy in combined center scoring.
Tim Thomas will get the start in goal and looks to be taking the burden of most of the workload for the foreseeable future.
"I think we wanted to get Toivonen in some games," said Associate Coach Marc Habscheid of the decision to send Hannu to the P-Bruins. "Providence is playing a lot of games right now and we wanted to get him in those games because he just needs to play.
"He’s a young guy and…he works hard. He does everything that’s asked of him.
"But at the same time he needs to play. He needs to play games and that’s what he is going to be able to do in Providence -- for the short term. After that, we’ll reevaluate on a day-to-day basis."
Thomas is 4-1-1 in his last six starts with a 7-2 victory in Ottawa on Dec. 19; his second career shutout in a 2-0 win vs. Vancouver on Dec. 21; a 4-2 win vs. Montreal on Dec. 23; a 5-4 overtime loss in Columbus on Dec. 26; a 5-3 win in Chicago on Dec. 29; and a 5-1 loss in Toronto on Jan. 1.
Providence traveled to Hartford yesterday and the P-Bruins dropped a 4-1 decision. Toivonen made 27 saves in the loss.
Jeff Hoggan will not play tonight and there is no definitive timetable for Phil Kessel to return to the lineup.
"(We’ll see) how he is in terms of conditioning and those types of things," said Habscheid of Kessel’s reentry into the Bruins game day roster. "When that is, I am not sure.
"(We) want to make sure that we do what’s right for Phil and make sure the proper steps are followed."
How about Hoggan?
"He left practice early today," said Habscheid yesterday after the session. "He’s certainly not going to play on (Thursday).
"But beyond that I don’t know…but he wasn’t able to go a full practice today."
No Tucker for Toronto Tonight
The Maple Leafs are having their own set of lineup woes. This morning’s Toronto Sun reports:
Tucker, whose unexpected return to the lineup helped the Maple Leafs dispose of the Boston Bruins 5-1 Monday, did not make the trip to Beantown for tonight’s rematch at the TD Banknorth Garden after his injured left foot ballooned like a waistline after Christmas dinner.
Tucker is a gritty, offensively dangerous talent, and the B’s will surely not miss seeing him.
The Globe and Mail reports that Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky will not be available, either:
Kyle Wellwood may or may not come back from his hip flexor and groin injury on Saturday. Alexei Ponikarovsky took part in his first practice since Dec. 19, but his shoulder injury still has not healed enough to let him play for at least a week.