|Five games to go.|
Tim Thomas will start in goal for Claude Julien's men after beating the Lightning on Tuesday night. Thomas, the reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy holder, has struggled a bit this year by his standards after his ridiculous campaign last year, but has still been very solid, with a 33-19-0 record, 2.39 GAA, .920 save percentage, and five shutouts. Outside the crease, the Bruins have two concussions: winger Nathan Horton, who has missed the last two months with his injury, and star center Marc Savard, who has missed the last two years with his. After struggling with many day to day injuries for the last month, the Bruins are finally rid of those and will field a strong, healthy lineup for this game.
Dale Hunter's choice in nets for this critical game is will be Tomas Vokoun, who has been limited to three games in the last three weeks because of a groin injury. Vokoun is 25-17-2 on the year with a 2.53 GAA, .917 save percentage, and four shutouts. On the injury front, star center Nicklas Backstrom, who seems to be just days away from returning, is with the team on the trip but will not play. Joel Ward, who has been out a week with a foot injury, will remain out, while John Erskine has a lower body ailment and will not dress. Recent recall Cody Eakin will play in Ward's spot, meaning that the Caps will go with six defensemen for the first time in three games; Jeff Schultz will sit down among defensemen along with Erskine.
Puck drops 7:09-ish. As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.