Bruins forward Shawn Thornton  is expected to make his return to the lineup Wednesday when the B’s take on the Islanders at TD Garden. Thornton missed three straight games after suffering a gash above his right eye last Tuesday against the Blackhawks and receiving approximately 40 stitches. He had his stitches removed Tuesday and skated in the team’s optional morning skate on Wednesday.
“Thornton is probably going to end up coming into our lineup,” coach Claude Julien  said Wednesday morning. “I think he’s ready to go. He’s had the stitches out, so we’ll make a couple other decisions just before the game.”
The B’s enforcer will be wearing the helmet he began wearing following the injury. Originally with a visor, Thornton had the shield removed but will still wear the new helmet because its padding is cut down, allowing more room around the scar. He did not want to cut into his regular helmet, an old CCM that he noted is “really hard to find,” out of fear of having trouble replacing the padding once the scar was better.
Prior to Thornton’s injury, he had not missed a single game all season, playing in the team’s first 76 games. He has a career-high nine goals and eight assists for a career-high 18 points on the season.