A pair of Boston Bruins played significant roles in helping the Eastern Conference win the All-Star game. They'll try to parlay that momentum into a strong start to the season's second half.
Savard's team-high 56 points helped earn him a spot in the All-Star game at Atlanta - the team for which he played from 2003-06. On Sunday, he found the back of the net with 20.9 seconds remaining to lift the East to an 8-7 win.
"It wasn't a tough shot, but it sure felt good when it went in," said Savard, who enters the season's second half with two goals and 10 assists during a seven-game point streak. "I got booed on Saturday and a little today, but I liked playing here for the Thrashers. It got my career on track. It felt great to come back and play in the All-Star game.
"Getting the winning goal just made it more special."
Savard's goal also made a winner of Thomas despite a rocky outing in which he allowed four goals on 18 third-period shots.
"It felt pretty good to come up with the 'W' at the end," Thomas said after he yielded all of his goals in the first 10:57 of the period. "Especially the way that period started out."
Thomas' season, though, has started out well. The 33-year-old veteran has posted a 16-11-3 record while starting 31 of Boston's 49 games, and his 2.34 goals-against average and .928 save percentage are both career bests. His play has helped lead Boston (25-19-5) to the seventh-best record in the East, despite the fact the Bruins have scored only 129 goals - fourth-fewest in the conference.
Boston closed its first half by going 4-1-1 in its last six games, including a 4-1 home win over the New York Islanders last Thursday, when Thomas made 28 saves and Savard had a goal and an assist.
|Marc Savard leads the Bruins with 56 points and enters the second half on a 7-game point streak.
The Bruins resume play against a team they rarely face. Boston holds a 6-4-1 edge with one tie all-time against Nashville, which began play in 1998-99, but the Bruins have not hosted the Predators since a 2-1 loss on Nov. 28, 2003.
Nashville (25-20-5) has been competitive this season, as it trails Colorado by one point for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. However, the Predators have taken a step back from the form that saw them exceed 100 points in each of the past two seasons.
They have played better lately, going 3-0-1 in their final four games before the break and 8-2-3 since Dec. 31. In their final game before the break, they lost 4-3 in overtime at Phoenix.
"We would like to pick up the two points, but we'll settle for the one," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "This team has shown great resiliency, and we were better as the game went along."
This game concludes a three-game road trip for the Predators, who host Columbus on Thursday. The Bruins travel to Ottawa on Thursday to face the Eastern Conference-leading Senators.