Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  By ERIN BROWN  |  Last updated 10/16/13
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Will Florida Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas have healed in time to face the Boston Bruins? Coach Kevin Dineen is non-committal whether the two-time Vezina Trophy winner will return from a lower-body injury Thursday to face his former team, but signs on the ice suggest Thomas may be on the verge of returning. For the second time in three days, Thomas took part in the team's full practice, sharing a majority of the workload with teammate Jacob Markstrom. "He had a pretty good day," Dineen said. "He's making progress. It is questionable to see if he'll go tomorrow night." Dineen, who does not disclose his starting netminder prior to games, said the Panthers will wait until Thursday to make a final decision. In the meantime, the Panthers intend to carry three goaltenders on their roster and will do so for as long as needed. "It can change daily," Dineen said. "But right now we've got the three and all are options for tomorrow." Thursday would mark the first time Thomas has faced his former team since taking a year-long sabbatical from the NHL. During his tenure with Boston, he led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2010-11, capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. "He's a big part of the New England culture for a lot of years and that is not easily forgotten," Dineen said of Thomas. "That was their first Cup in a long, long time and he has his fingerprints all over that. So that will certainly be of interest to the Boston, New England region." Dineen, a former player himself, recognized the magnitude making a first appearance against a former team, calling it "emotional" moment. Thomas posted a 196-121-45 record and a 2.50 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage with Boston. The 39-year-old Thomas has missed the last four games with a groin ailment. Thomas suffered the injury in the first period of Florida's 2-1 loss to Philadelphia on October 8. He gave up two goals on five shots before leaving 7 12 minues into the contest. Thomas is 1-2 with a 5.05 goals-against average and a .850 save percentage this season.
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