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A Step in the Right Direction

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Asked about playing back-to-back versus the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals on Saturday and Sunday, B's goalie Tim Thomas said he felt fine.

"I think sometimes it can be helpful," said Thomas. "I think it’s easy for me to get the rhythm right off the bat at the start of the game because its kind of a continuation ."

If there was a theme to Sunday's win it was continuation; continuation of the B's good work on defense and in goal, and a continuation of that offensive rhythm that put 47 shots on the Pittsburgh net on Saturday.

But the B's didn't continue to use the same lines they had versus the loss to the Penguins as left wing Milan Lucic was centered by Chris Kelly in Sunday's 4-1 victory in Washington.

"You know, kind of at the end of October...we played a little bit together and the start of November and he’s got a lot of ups to his game," said Lucic of his new center (with Rich Peverley on the right wing). "He’s defensively responsible and he makes good plays so we felt like we played well together as a line and it felt good."

The B's big winger saw positives to the change.

"Yeah a little bit, sometimes you need to switch things up...When things aren’t going well," said Lucic. "So it ended up working for us today, but for myself it doesn’t change the way I have to play.

"That’s what makes my game -- I guess you could say -- easy to play. I just got to keep the same no matter who I play with. I played well tonight on both sides of the puck.

"Everyone did, and that’s why we got the big win," he said.

Also important to Boston's big win was being more consistent on both sides of the puck.

"Yesterday we took a step in the right direction and today we took another step in the right direction," said Lucic when asked about the B's being better in their own zone. "Building our consistency in our game right now is the biggest step in getting back where we want to be."

On Sunday, those steps included finding more quality offensive chances.

"Well I think as forwards, we were taking the puck to the net a lot more and taking our shots," said Lucic. "We were on pucks, we were making good short passes and we were coming up the ice together.

"Especially in the Carolina game, we felt like we were too stretched out making long passes where we weren’t able to get anything out of it.

"When we play as a five man-unit on the ice –- a 20-man unit on the team -- that’s when we’re at our best," he said.

But even after the win, Thomas didn't see the 2011-12 Black & Gold as a finished project.

"I think overall we’re starting, the last couple of days, to go in the right direction and started to play the type of hockey the Boston bruins play," he said.
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