Thomas finally gets a rest

BOSTON -- It’s been a long time since Bruins goalie Tim Thomas watched a game from press level, but that’s what he’ll be doing tonight when his teammates host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With only three games remaining in the regular season, Bruins coach Claude Julien decided that, given Thomas’ recent workload, it's a good time to rest him. Thomas is 5-1-1 in his last seven games and has played in 18 of the last 20 games because backup Tuukka Rask has been sidelined with a groin/abdominal injury since March 3.

“We certainly want to give him some rest,” Julien said. “He’s done a great job for us down the stretch and this is an opportunity to give him some rest. At the same time, we’re going to continue to work with him so he’s fine-tuned for the playoffs.”

Goaltender Marty Turco will start for the Bruins and Anton Khudobin, who was recalled from Providence on Monday, will serve as the backup.

Thomas, who did not argue with the coach’s decision, will play at least one more game before the start of the playoffs.

“Everything we do, you use common sense,” Julien said. “You also take the time to chat and make sure we’re all on the same page. [Players] know it’s my decision, but I’ll take time to talk to those guys in case they have a point that is valid. Dialogue is the best way to deal with those situations.”

This is Khudobin’s first recall to Boston this season. He posted a 21-19-3 record in 44 games with Providence this season to go with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. He suffered an injury at the same time as Rask, but missed only a few games for the P-Bruins.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Khudobin said. “I played four games [after returning] and I’m ready to go.”

Khudobin served as a practice goalie during the entire playoff run last season and he believes that experience will help him this year just in case he’s needed in the playoffs.

“It was good for experience and how you prepare,” he said.

Julien did say that Rask is making progress, but the coach still does not know if Rask will be ready for the playoffs.