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Tim Thomas to return from injury with start against Bruins

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Thomas played 378 for Boston in his career. (Getty Images)
Thomas played 378 for Boston in his career. (Getty Images)

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The Boston Bruins will be on the road in Florida on Thursday night and they will see an old friend. Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas will make his return to the ice and face his former team.

Thomas has missed the past couple of games after suffering a lower-body injury in making a save attempt against the Philadelphia Flyers. The team said he was day to day and gave young Jacob Markstrom the past four starts while Thomas was on the mend. Then on Wednesday the Panthers announced that Thomas will make his first home start against his former team.

Let the fun begin.

Thomas spent his entire NHL career with the Bruins, backstopping them to the 2011 Stanley Cup with a Conn Smythe postseason. He then made a lot of headlines for skipping the team's visit to the White House in protest of the president and things went downhill from there until Thomas took all of last season off before making a return with the Panthers this season.

The Bruins have changed a bit since Thomas last played for them but all in all it's still a very similar team and he knows the majority of the guys in the Spoked B. That includes the goalie he will oppose ... perhaps in more ways than one.

OK, so that's not likely to happen but it should still be fun nonetheless. Especially if/when Milan Lucic parks in Thomas' crease. Meanwhile, won't be speaking to the media until after the game when just about every Bruins writer will be in the Panthers dressing room.

Thomas hasn't had the smoothest start in Florida, posting a save percentage of .850 and a goals against average of 5.05 in his first three games.

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