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Shawn Thornton (stitches) expected to return for Bruins vs. Islanders 04.06.11 at 12:06 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Shawn Thornton,
Optional morning skate for Bruins 04.06.11 at 10:42 am ET
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The B’s held an optional skate prior to Wednesday’s game against the Islanders. Ten B’s skated, while the rest got loose by playing some hallway soccer. The following players took the ice:

Shawn Thornton, Shane Hnidy, Tyler Seguin, Adam McQuaid, Steven Kampfer, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly, Michael Ryder, Tuukka Rask, Tim Thomas.

More to come once they open up the dressing room.

Read More: Shawn Thornton,
Report: Bruins sign Carter Camper 04.05.11 at 3:29 pm ET
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According to Kirk Luedeke (one of the more knowledgeable guys out there when it comes to the NHL Draft and a worthwhile Twitter follow), the Bruins have signed Miami of Ohio center Carter Camper. The Providence Journal reports that Camper will play the final three games of the season with Providence in the AHL.

Camper, who scored 19 goals this season and is a Hobey Baker finalist, measures at 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds. Luedeke writes that Camper’s “elite hockey sense and soft hands make him capable of creating offense from just about anywhere in the zone.”

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Shawn Thornton hopes to return to Bruins lineup vs. Islanders 04.05.11 at 2:08 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — After missing last the last three games due to stitches above his right eye, Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said he hopes to return to the lineup Wednesday night against the Islanders. The stitches, of which there were approximately 40, will be removed before the game, and Thornton said he just needs medical clearance and the OK from Claude Julien.

“I think so, but I’m not 100 percent [sure],” Thornton said Tuesday of the possibility of him returning.

“We’ll figure it out tomorrow,” Julien said. “He’s day-to-day and that hasn’t changed. We’ll see tomorrow and make a decision on him, whether he’s capable of jumping in our lineup or not.”

Thornton began skating without a shield on Monday and participated in Tuesday’s proactice with linemates Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille.

Read More: Claude Juien, Shawn Thornton,
Bruins return to practice 04.05.11 at 12:15 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Trying to shake off the stink of an ugly 5-3 loss to the Rangers in which they led, 3-0, the Bruins took to Ristuccia Arena for a noon skate Tuesday.

Michael Ryder was donning a grey jersey, making the third line the one with the extra man. Looks like Daniel Paille might stick in the lineup, potentially at the expense of Tyler Seguin once Shawn Thornton, who skated without a visor, returns.

Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton
Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronMark Recchi
Rich PeverleyChris Kelly – Tyler Seguin – Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Read More: Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton,
Bruins blow 3-0 lead, fall to Rangers 04.04.11 at 9:57 pm ET
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The Bruins blew a three-goal lead Monday night at Madison Square Garden, falling victim to two late goals within 51 seconds to drop a 5-3 decision to the Rangers.

The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead, as first-period goals from Daniel Paille and Nathan Horton were followed by Chris Kelly’s first goal as a Bruin at 10:32 of the second. The Rangers would quickly climb their way back into the game, getting a pair of second-period tallies from Vaclav Prospal, with Wojtek Wolski picking up assists on each goal. Brandon Dubinsky and Michael Sauer scored at 16:12 and 17:03, respectively, to tie it and take the lead in the third. Derek Stepan sealed it with an empty-netter.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins knew the Rangers were a team desperate for a pair of points, and though they came out the stronger team, they took a nap after Kelly’s goal. All in all, the B’s ended up with just four shots on Lundqvist in the second period after putting 19 on net in the first period. The Rangers were playing a playoff game, and when the B’s are doing the same next week, they’ll need more of a 60-minute effort.

- The four goals allowed by Thomas were the most he’s given up since March 19, a span of six starts. Thomas didn’t seem to have it even before the Rangers opened it up, but their opportunities were so scarce early on that it seemed it could be smooth sailing for the Bruins’ netminder.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- How do you sit Paille when Shawn Thornton returns? Tyler Seguin has shown at certain points recently that he deserves to be in the lineup come playoff time, but Paille is producing. The former first-round pick had a season-high four shots on goal.

- With Horton’s goal, he now has seven points over his last seven games. Twenty-five wasn’t the number that people had in mind when he came over here (a prediction of 30 would have been considered conservative before the season), but if he produces the way he has of late and not the way he did in the middle of the season, the Bruins won’t be able to complain.

- Kelly hasn’t exactly a statistical monster since being acquired in February (two points in 20 games; zero in his last 16), so his first goal with the B’s is both a welcomed and overdue sight.

- The B’s may not have gotten many shots on Lundqvist in the second period (see below), but they didn’t deal with as many blocked shots as they could have expected based on March 26. The last time the two teams met, the Rangers blocked 29 shots, 18 of which came in the third period.

Read More: Nathan Horton, Tim Thomas,
Rangers cut into Bruins’ lead 04.04.11 at 9:04 pm ET
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The Bruins opened up a three-goal lead in the second period, but a Rangers duo doomed the Bruins twice to make it a 3-2 game heading into the third period.

Chris Kelly scored his first goal as a member of the Bruins, looking off Tyler Seguin and beating Henrik Lundqvist with a wrist-shot at 10:32. Just 1:02 later, Tim Thomas came out of his net and thought he’d stopped a Wojtek Wolski shot, but it trickled through his legs, allowing Vaclav Prospal easy access to an easy goal.

Prospal would make it a one-goal game at 18:26, with Wolski getting his second assist on the night.

The Bruins had just four shots on goal in the period, and hold a 23-15 advantage after two.

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