BOSTON — Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien made it official this morning that winger Milan Lucic will not play tonight against Ottawa at TD Banknorth Garden due to an undisclosed injury.
Lucic, who did not practice yesterday, will miss his first game of this regular season.
If the lines stay the same from yesterday’s Lucic-less practice, Shawn Thornton will move up into Lucic’s spot in the line-up alongside Stephane Yelle and Chuck Kobasew. That line played together for five games in mid-November when Kobasew was working his way back from injury.
“We had some success earlier in the year. … If I get to stick with those guy, it’s always fun to play with them,” said Thornton after the Bruins’ morning skate.
“We’re just going to go out and work hard,” he continued.”Nothing changes. It doesn’t matter what color jersey (in practice). It’s the same line it was two months ago. So we’ll just go out there and work hard.”
On defense, Julien said Aaron Ward (lower body) is probable for a return after a one-game absence, while Shane Hnidy (eye) is out due to doctor’s decision.
The Bruins will again have to march on without crucial pieces of their team. Thornton, for one, is confident they can do that.
“We’ve been going through it for not just this year, last year too. We’ve had the type of guys to fight through a little adversity. I’m not too worried about it. I’m sure the character we have in here, the guys will step up and do what they can,” said Thornton.