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Thomas shines again as B's blank Sens

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 12:51 AM / Roundup

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Thomas shines again as B's blank Sens
Tim Thomas made 29 saves for his third shutout in six starts this season as Boston blanked Ottawa 4-0 on Saturday night.
Tim Thomas is probably sorry to see October end.

Thomas made 29 saves for his second straight shutout and third of the season, improving to 6-0-0 for the season as the Boston Bruins blanked the Ottawa Senators 4-0 at Scotiabank Place on Saturday night.

Thomas has 20 career NHL shutouts, five against the Senators. His save percentage this season improved to a remarkable .984 -- he's allowed just three goals in his six victories, and no more than one in any game.

"The effort in front of me was great," Thomas said. "Our 'D' is doing an incredible job blocking shots when needed, clearing rebounds when needed. They're making life easy for me right now."

The last Boston goaltender to start the season by going 6-0-0 was Tiny Thompson. The year? 1937.

David Krejci, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic and Jordan Caron scored to help the Bruins raise their record to 6-2-0. Brian Elliott made 21 saves for Ottawa.

Boston opened the scoring early in the first period when Krejci took advantage of an Ottawa turnover. Chris Phillips' attempt to clear the puck caught Mike Fisher's stick, and Krejci caught Elliott off guard.

Ottawa appeared to tie it midway through the second on a goal by Daniel Alfredsson, but it was called back after it was ruled Fisher interfered with Thomas in the crease.

The Bruins led 3-0 after two periods.

"We had our chances early and didn't capitalize," Senators coach Cory Clouston said. "We had six or seven good chances in the first period ... those were the momentum breakers. They capitalized on our mistakes. For the most part up to the first 35 minutes I thought we played a real solid game."

Seguin, with his third of the season, took a great cross-ice pass from Mark Recchi and caught Elliott moving side-to-side to beat him short-side on the power play at 13:55.

Ottawa looked to be asleep toward the end of the period, surrendering two breakaways in succession. Elliott stopped Nathan Horton's attempt, but Lucic made scored moments later.

Caron scored on a breakaway in the third.

"We played well in the first 10 minutes and then they took control of the last 10," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "The third was our best and everyone contributed."

Flyers 6, Islanders 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Chris Pronger and Jeff Carter each scored twice and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots as Philadelphia pummeled the Isles at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers have dominated the Islanders during the past three seasons, and continued that trend in their first meeting of this season. Philadelphia has won 15 of 16 from New York, including 11 in a row at home. The Islanders haven't won in Philadelphia since April 7, 2007.

Timonen gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 2:36 into the game. Scott Hartnell angled a pass from the side of the net to Timonen, who fired in a shot off Rick DiPietro's stick.

Carter made it 2-0 with 2:41 left in the first period, deflecting Claude Giroux's pass between DiPietro's pads. Carter's second goal early in the second period gave him five this season, one behind team leader Danny Briere.

Pronger's first two goals of the season both came on one-timers off smooth passes from Timonen. The hard drives both sailed high and over DiPietro's shoulders.

"Our shots from the point were getting through," Flyers forward Danny Briere said. "Our guys in front of the net did a very good job, so that's encouraging. We knew with guys like Kimmo and Prongs, especially back there, you know at some point things are going to start going in."

Between his goals, Pronger was called for hooking Frans Nielsen on a 3-on-5 breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot. Nielsen skated in, transferred the puck to his backhand and flipped it over Bobrovsky's left shoulder 8:09 into the second period.

Pronger made it 5-1 just 1:12 later, and Andreas Nodl beat DiPietro at 15:02 of the second after a centering pass from the left circle by James van Riemsdyk.

"I thought our guys have found some consistency with their game and tonight I thought we came out the right way," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "Right off the bat we were throwing pucks at the net in the offensive zone and on top of it. We got some good results tonight from that attack."

The Islanders, who have lost four in a row, return to the ice on Wednesday at Carolina.

"Until you get a chance to get back on the ice and redeem yourself, it eats at you," DiPietro said. "There's no time to rest. You've got to expect some peaks and valleys, but we've got to get back to winning games."

The teams combined for 120 penalty minutes. New York received the bulk of the time in the penalty box, accounting for 73 minutes.

"When you get embarrassed like that, there's lots of frustration," said Briere, who was hit with 17 of the Flyers' 47 penalty minutes. "They didn't like that and had to respond some way, somehow. They did it with their fists."

Penguins 3, Hurricanes 0 | HIGHLIGHTS

Brent Johnson continues to make a case for more playing time in Pittsburgh. Johnson stopped all 33 shots he faced and Pascal Dupuis scored twice as the Penguins blanked Carolina at the RBC Center.

With the victory, Johnson improved to 5-0-1 and earned his 14th career shutout. He entered the game ranked second in the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage.

"My confidence is feeling pretty good," Johnson said. "I'm feeling pretty good."

Maxime Talbot also scored and Sidney Crosby added two assists for the Pens, who played without Evgeni Malkin due to a lower-body injury. Pittsburgh snapped a three-game skid.

"I think everyone's got a lot of pride and high expectations of each other and individually, too," Crosby said. "That was a great way to respond."

Cam Ward made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who have lost both home games this season by 3-0 scores.

"I'm not saying we had enough chances that if we bury them, we win the game, but certainly it's a tight game," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

Carolina had three quality scoring chances in the opening minutes, but Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead when Dupuis charged in on left wing and veered to the center before backhanding a shot between Ward’s legs.

The Penguins stretched the lead to 2-0 in the second on an odd-man rush. Arron Asham lofted a saucer pass to Talbot, who smacked a backhander underneath Ward.

Dupuis put the game out of reach 8:10 into the third with his second goal of the night.

"We talked a little bit after the game last night about what we weren't doing," Dupuis said. "We did execute."

Stars 4, Sabres 0 | HIGHLIGHTS

Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves for his eighth career shutout in his first start of the season, James Neal and Brenden Morrow scored power-play goals, and Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over Buffalo at the American Airlines Center.

Raycroft was signed as a free agent in the offseason to back up Kari Lehtonen, who got the first nine starts.

Stars coach Marc Crawford decided it was time to go with Raycroft, and the 10-year veteran was busy in the second period as the Sabres sent 14 shots on net.

"Obviously, you want to play, but I looked at the schedule at the start and knew if we got off to a good start, I probably wasn't going to start until November," Raycroft said. "The way (Lehtonen) played, that's the way it went early."

Steve Ott notched a shorthanded goal and Trevor Daley scored at even strength, both in the third period.

The Stars cashed in on a 5-on-3 advantage at 7:34 of the opening period on Neal's drive from the right circle. Dallas had been 2 for 25 on the power play in the previous six games. Morrow's deflection at 18:20 of the second period made it 2-0.

Ott's penalty-kill rebound at 5:05 of the third period and Daley's goal at 11:35 gave the Stars a four-goal pad. Raycroft did the rest in Dallas' first shutout of the season.

Brad Richards had two assists for the Stars, who had lost the first three of a season-long six-game homestand.

"We had to stop the bleeding at home," Morrow said. "It was good to nip this and get rolling in the right direction again. Special teams were huge. (Raycroft) made some timely stops to keep the momentum and the special teams did what they hadn't been able to do the last few games -- capitalize on the power play and close the door on the penalty kill."

Patrick Lalime stopped 37 shots for Buffalo in his second start of the season. Ryan Miller has started the other 10 games.

The Sabres, who completed a 1-2-1 trip, were shut out for the second time this season.

"We tried to play a little more aggressive and we got flagged for some calls," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "You're playing back-to-back games and it takes a lot of players out of the game. You can try to kill four (penalties), but it takes a lot of energy out of your team."

Blues 4, Thrashers 3 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS

Jay McClement recorded his first career hat trick and T.J. Oshie and Brad Boyes scored in the shootout to lead St. Louis past Atlanta at the Scottrade Center.

Jaroslav Halak stopped both shots in the shootout to help the Blues to their fourth straight victory. The Thrashers lost for the first time in three games.

"I can't remember the last time I got one," McClement said of the hat trick, which came in his 410th NHL game. "Don't count on too many more of those, either."

St. Louis, which improved to 5-0-0 at home, rallied from a late 3-1 deficit with two goals by McClement in a span of 1:46 in the third period. He deflected in a shot from the point by Alex Pietrangelo to tie the game 3-3 with 4:25 left.

Atlanta's Ondrej Pavelec stopped 24 of the first 25 shots he faced in his return after fainting and suffering a concussion early in the Thrashers' 4-2 season-opening win over Washington on Oct. 8.

Nik Antropov and Rich Peverley each added a goal and an assist for Atlanta.

"I was so excited to be back, couldn't wait," Pavelec said. "I tried to focus. I felt pretty good after the first couple shots."

Atlanta converted two power-play goals in the game's first 13:59 to take a 2-1 lead. Peverley popped in a rebound of a shot by Antropov for his first goal of the season.

The goal ended Halak's shutout string at 160:08. He had recorded consecutive shutouts and stopped 71 successive shots before Peverley's goal.

"I didn't worry about what happened in the first period," Halak said. "I just came out, I just tried to go puck by puck. I was trying to keep us going the same way the whole game."

The Blues tied the game three minutes later when McClement deflected in a shot from close range by Matt D'Agostini.

"Just happened to be in the right place at the right time a lot," McClement said. "Feels good to contribute offensively for a change."

But Antropov answered with his second goal of season, picking up a rebound from in front of the net.

Atlanta's Niclas Bergfors scored with 2.7 seconds left in the opening period to push the lead to 3-1. Bergfors broke free on the right wing and slapped a shot past Halak.

"It was a good effort by out guys," Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. "We just kind of tired out near the end."

Blackhawks 3, Wild 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Marty Turco bounced back from a benching with 25 saves as the Blackhawks won at Minnesota.

Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist, Duncan Keith scored early in the third period and Jake Dowell added an empty-netter for the Blackhawks, who enjoyed plenty of support from their fans despite being
on the road.

Missing one of their top scorers in Marian Hossa while he recovers from an upper body injury, the Blackhawks were coming off a woeful home performance -- a 7-4 loss on Friday to Edmonton from which Turco was pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots in the first period.

"I'm just at a position now, period, where I want to win," Turco said. "I want to be in net. I want to be the guy."

Marek Zidlicky's third-period goal wasn't enough for the Wild, who got 29 saves from Niklas Backstrom.

With 30 seconds left in the second period, Brouwer grabbed one of several big rebounds Backstrom gave up and moved it from his backhand to his forehand while catching Backstrom too far forward for an easy tap-in and a 1-0 lead.

"It wasn't so much a little monkey. It was a big gorilla on my back," said Brouwer of his first score, following a 22-goal season.

The Blackhawks kept up their momentum after the second intermission. Keith swooped behind the net and nudged in a wraparound that Backstrom couldn't get a clean look at while Nick Schultz tried to fend off Jonathan Toews.

"Once they smell blood, they keep coming," said Wild center John Madden, who played for Chicago last season.

Backstrom, who blanked Washington for 58-plus minutes on Thursday, kept the Wild in it for most of the first two periods. He made a diving stop of a wraparound shot by Toews with his glove and recovered in time to deny a rebound shot by Brouwer. Backstrom had a little good luck, too, when Sharp's shot clanked off the pipe right at the end of a Blackhawks power play.

The Wild were sluggish and sloppy over the first two periods more than they were sharp, until a stronger push in the final minutes put them back in position. Zidlicky lost the puck then got it back on a one-touch pass from Mikko Koivu, poking it in past Turco's stick side to cut the lead in half with less than 6 minutes left.

"You can see why they've won a Stanley Cup," Minnesota coach Todd Richards said.

Sharks 5, Ducks 2 | HIGHLIGHTS

Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton wreaked havoc once again. Heatley scored twice and Thornton picked up three more assists as San Jose beat Anaheim at HP Pavilion.

Thornton had an assist on each of the Sharks' first three goals and had a point on eight consecutive Sharks' last eight tallies to tie a franchise record.

"It was just a matter of time before we got our offense going," Thornton said. "We're going to the net and I think we're shaking off some rust we could have had earlier in the season. We're not going to score five (goals) every game, but for right now it's nice to see."

Antero Niittymaki made 22 saves for the Sharks and remains unbeaten in regulation. Logan Couture, Niclas Wallin and Patrick Marleau also scored for San Jose, which won its second straight and for the fourth time in five games.

"When we came back from Europe, we didn't have any rhythm in our game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We're starting to find that. Even in practices, you can see they're settled in a little bit more. Routine is real important for us. We're starting to see the benefits of that. We did a lot of really good things. We have to build on it."

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry scored for the Ducks, who have lost three of four. Curtis McElhinney stopped 36 shots.

"We didn't play the way we needed to right off the drop," Getzlaf said. "We can't get scored upon on a faceoff play."

Heatley scored 36 seconds into the game. He made an awkward backhanded flip that eased into the net after he took a pass from Thornton, who picked up a rebounded shot by Dan Boyle. Couture added a power-play goal late in the period to make it 2-0.

Heatley scored his second goal on a power play early in the second period for his 55th career multi-goal game.

"You score some goals, you see it go in the net … you get confidence and you build on that," Heatley said. "It's fun when it's going in the net."

Wallin scored his first goal with the Sharks after Scott Nichol picked up a loose puck along the boards and centered it to him. It was also Wallin's first goal in 90 NHL games.

Marleau scored late in the second period after picking up a loose puck in his own zone and beating defenseman Andreas Lilja to the net for the goal.

Of the 21 combined penalties, 12 were for fighting. The teams were whistled for 41 penalties in a preseason game.

"Probably to be expected," McLellan said. "I think when two rivals get together, that happens. When you get up 5-0 and it's still a physical affair, that tends to happen. I thought both teams played hard. It was a physical night. That's usually expected when we get together."

"There's obviously an animosity developing," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We didn't seem to get involved in the game. There's always going to be fatigue, but it didn't look like we had much structure."

Panthers 3, Canadiens 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

David Booth scored on a penalty shot and Tomas Vokoun made 40 saves as Florida put an end to Montreal's four-game winning streak.

For NHL.com's complete game coverage, click here.

Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Peter Budaj made 33 saves, Paul Stastny and Chris Stewart had a goal and an assist each and Colorado cruised past Columbus at the Pepsi Center.

For NHL.com's complete game coverage, click here.

Lightning 3, Coyotes 0 | HIGHLIGHTS

Dan Ellis made 23 saves for his first shutout of the season and 11th of his career as Tampa Bay blanked Phoenix at Jobing.com Arena.

For NHL.com's complete game coverage, click here.

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic