BOSTON — Manny Fernandez was the first Boston Bruins goaltender to leave the ice after the club’s optional morning skate today at TD Banknorth Garden, so you can expect him to get the start against his former team, the Minnesota Wild, tonight.

Fernandez also faced Minnesota in the Bruins’ second game of the regular season Oct. 11 in St. Paul. He took the loss that night and let up a couple soft goals during his four-goal, 22-save performance in a 4-3 defeat. But that was the Fernandez who was still trying to find his comfort level in his return from knee surgery, not the one that’s currently won five straight starts and lost just once in regulation since that night in Minnesota.

•Defenseman Andrew Ference, who had to leave practice 10 minutes early Monday, did not skate today. I would say the best way to describe Ference’s status in his attempt to return from a broken foot is not as far ahead of schedule as he first thought.

•Defenseman Aaron Ward, who left Saturday’s game in the second period and didn’t skate the last two days, said his status is up in the air after he did skate this morning.

In describing the play where he got injured, Ward said: “I tried to hit him with  my upper body and the only thing that got him was my thigh.”