January 17th, 2011 by

B’s vs. ‘Canes pregame notes: Thomas to start, Lucic and Stuart in

BOSTON — Bruins head coach Claude Julein confirmed that Tim Thomas will be in net this afternoon for Boston’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes at the TD Garden.

The puck drop at 1 p.m. EST.

Julien also said that both forward Milan Lucic and defenseman Mark Stuart will return to the Bruins lineup today. Lucic missed the last three games with an undisclosed injury, while Stuart has been sidelined since early December with a dislocated finger in his right hand.

Thomas is 7-8-1 all-time against Carolina with a 2.90 GAA and .913 SV%.

This afternoon’s matinée game is the second of four meetings between these two Eastern Conference teams. The last time these two clubs met was back on Nov. 26, 2010 when the ‘Canes blanked the B’s 3-0 at the TD Garden.

Today will be the ninth of 14 sets of back-to-back games with the B’s traveling to Carolina to battle the ‘Canes tomorrow night at the RBC Center. Boston posts a 5-3-0 record in the first game of such series, and a 5-2-1 mark in game twos.

This will be the 176th meeting between these two clubs, all time, dating back to the Hartford Whalers’ days. The Bruins are 92-65-16-2 against the ‘Canes with a 602-521 scoring edge.

The referees today are Steven Auger and Dennis LaRue, and linesmen Ryan Galloway and Brian Mach.

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