Thomas/By S. Bradley

Bruins head coach Claude Julien broke with his usual habit this morning and revealed his starting goaltender for tonight’s game against New Jersey.

And the revelation must’ve been a surprise to some.

Fresh off shutting out Phoenix in Prague, Tim Thomas will get the nod in Newark instead of last year’s NHL leader in goals-against average and save percentage. Thomas made 29 saves against the Coyotes last Sunday, while Rask lost to the Coyotes the day before with four goals allowed on 36 shots.

Thomas has to hope this set of consecutive starts goes better than his last. Last March, Thomas started on Feb. 27 and 29. After winning a 5-0 shutout over Calgary, Thomas didn’t make it through the entirety of his next start. He was pulled 26 minutes into what wound up a 3-2 defeat against Buffalo. Thomas didn’t start again until the last game of the regular season, as Rask started the next six contests.

Of course, this is the “new and improved” post-hip-surgery Thomas.

For his career, Thomas is 4-5-3 with a 2.54 GAA against the Devils, who have scored just nine goals in their first five games entering tonight’s action.

The puck drops at 7 p.m.