Tim Thomas (groin) to face ex-team

Tim Thomas will be in the net Thursday night when the Florida Panthers host the goalie's former team, the Boston Bruins.

The 39-year-old Thomas last played Oct. 8, when he left a game against the Philadelphia Flyers with a pulled groin. The team announced via Twitter that he would return against the Bruins in Sunrise, Fla.

Thomas has made three starts this season for the Panthers and had an unsightly 5.02 goals-against average and an .850 save percentage before the injury. In his second start, he was pulled after allowing five goals against the St. Louis Blues earlier the month.

The former Conn Smythe and Vezina awards winner took a hiatus from hockey last season -- while still under contract with the Bruins -- to spend more time with his family. He joined the Panthers during training camp on a professional tryout before inking a one-year deal.

"Never thought that we would play against each other," Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask told the Boston Globe on Wednesday. "But I'm glad that he made his comeback. That's what people want. I hope he does well."

Rask replaced Thomas as the Bruins' starting goalie.