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MacDonald on board

Ex-Harvard center claimed on waivers

NEW YORK -- The Bruins made another move yesterday to augment their depth, claiming center Craig MacDonald off waivers from Florida. MacDonald, 26, is expected to join the club for practice at the FleetCenter today.

MacDonald, who played two seasons for Harvard (1995-97), had played 34 games for the Panthers as a fourth-liner, with three assists and 25 penalty minutes. He also played two games with San Antonio of the American Hockey League in early November.

MacDonald spent the 1997-98 season with the Canadian National team. He turned pro in 1998-99 and spent five seasons in the Carolina organization, shuttling between the NHL and minor league affiliates in New Haven, Cincinnati, and Lowell. He signed as a free agent with Florida on Aug. 14, 2003. "He's a good, solid player," said Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell. "We like his energy. He plays center ice and we felt we needed some depth at center. We'll see how it is. We thought it was a good chance to take a stab at a guy, he knows how to play in the league, he does all the little things, he's got pretty good size, and he's a good skater."

Thornton hopeful

O'Connell said he spoke with Bruins captain Joe Thornton yesterday and the news was very encouraging. Thornton suffered a fractured left cheekbone, a blackened right eye, and a gash that required stitches as a result of a fight with Rangers center Eric Lindros in the second period of Monday's matchup at the FleetCenter. Although Thornton missed last night's rematch at Madison Square Garden, it appears that's all he'll miss. "He sounded great, he sounded upbeat," said O'Connell. "He told me he'd like to skate [today] and we'll go from there. He's going to try a shield." If Thornton can find a way to protect the cheekbone, O'Connell expects him to suit up tomorrow night against the Buffalo Sabres at the FleetCenter.

Doull sits it out

Bruins forward Doug Doull was suspended for last night's game because of the charging major he received in the second period of Monday's game. Doull was assessed the major as well as a game misconduct for his hit on Rangers center Petr Nedved. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Doull will forfeit $2,500, which goes to the Players' Emergency Fund. He is eligible to return tomorrow against the Sabres. Defenseman Dan McGillis, who was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure and a game misconduct Monday for his knee-on-knee hit on Darius Kasparaitis that resulted in a tibial fracture and a sprained left knee (Kasparaitis is out 10-12 weeks), received no supplemental discipline. Because of the time McGillis missed in the remainder of the game, defenseman Sean O'Donnell did yeoman's work, logging 25 minutes 18 seconds over 30 shifts. That's 4:14 more than O'Donnell's average and was second only among Bruins to defenseman Nick Boynton's 26:21, which was 3:08 more than his average . . . Forwards Rob Zamuner and Martin Samuelsson, called up after Saturday's game, were both in the lineup last night. Zamuner, assigned to the minors Jan. 1, had one assist in five contests with Providence. Samuelsson had one goal and six assists in 30 games with the Baby B's . . . Defenseman Jeff Jillson, scratched from Monday's outing because of the addition of Jiri Slegr, was back in last night but as a forward . . . It was billed as "'70s night" at the Garden but it might as well have been "Mets Night." According to the Rangers public relations' staff, nine members of the Mets were in attendance, including Mike Piazza and Billerica's Tom Glavine. Al Leiter and John Franco were also in the house. Other celebrity guests were former tennis great John McEnroe, actress Chloe Sevigny, and former "Saturday Night Live" comic Garrett Morris.

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