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Kessel, Thornton expected out for tonight vs. Senators

04.02.09 at 11:19 am ET

WILMINGTON — Phil Kessel skated and did some light shooting on the ice and Shawn Thornton wasn’t present during Thursday morning’s pre-game skate prior to tonight’s tilt at the TD Banknorth Garden against the Ottawa Senators.

Thornton’s asbence from the morning skate indicates that the B’s brawling winger will miss his second straight game with a minor “undisclosed injury”. With Thornton and Kessel out of the lineup, Bitz should again populate the fourth line with Steve Montador and Stephane Yelle — and Blake Wheeler, P.J. Axelsson and Marc Savard  will again skate as Boston’s top scoring line after producing an even-strength goal Tuesday night.

“Phil was on the ice and he’s practicing, and we’re planning his return for sometime next week,” said Claude Julien. “(Thornton) is still the same. I can’t say any more than it’s not sonething serious. There’s a lot of the same, and we’re just going to keep going with healthy guys.”

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