- Behind the remarkable play of goaltender Tim Thomas
, the Boston Bruins beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Thursday night for the second time in four days and earned their third consecutive win. Thomas was the difference in the game, stopping an Alexander Ovechkin penalty shot and breakaway en route to a 32-save win. Thomas has yet to lose in regulation since starting in net for the B's. Marco Sturm scored the game-winner and Brad Boyes chipped in with a goal and an assist.
The Bruins jumped out to an early lead at 2:36 of the first. On the power play, Patrice Bergeron
slid the puck across the blue line to Brad Stuart at the other point. Stuart ripped a slap shot that Caps netminder Brent Johnston saved, but Brad Boyes was in front to stuff home the rebound for his 12th of the season.
"We're winning and getting points, that's most important," said Boyes. "You obviously want to contribute, so when I get the chances like I have been and teammates try to set me up, I want to make sure they go in. I was slumping for a bit and I wasn't getting them in. Now I'm getting a few bounces and I better start putting them in. I'm glad I was able to help out with that goal."
2:50 into the second period, Nick Boynton tripped Ovechkin on a breakaway and the rookie was awarded a penalty shot. On the penalty shot, Ovechkin raced in and tried to deke to the forehand, but Thomas stood his ground and forced him to miss the net. Thomas quickly pumped his fist and brought the 15,546 Garden faithful to their feet.
"I thought (Ovechkin) was going to shoot," Thomas said. "I didn't think he was going to deke forehand. I thought he would shoot and, if it was close enough, it would be blocker side. I never expected him to go forehand, but I made the save so it made me feel pretty good.
"I couldn't help myself (pumping his fist), partly because the crowd was so loud when he came in to take the shot. Then, when I made the save, the cheers were so loud I got a little carried away."
At 5:28 of the second, Washington forward Chris Clark notched the equalizer with one second left on a high sticking penalty to Gill. Clark beat Thomas five-hole for his 11th of the year.
The Bruins took back the lead with just 39 seconds left in the second period. Wayne Primeau skated hard into the Washington zone, put a move on a Capitals defenseman and slid the puck across the goalmouth to a wide-open Eric Nickulas. Nickulas knocked it in for his second of the year and gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
"(Primeau) made a pass that I barely even saw," said Nickulas. "It was right on my tape and I just deflected it in. That was all Wayne Primeau making a big play by himself. I owe all the credit to him, I just finished it off."
The Capitals tied the game at 10:55 of the third on a power play goal by Ben Clymer. Clymer scored his ninth of the year on a slap shot from the point that trickled through Thomas' legs to knot the score at 2-2.
The Bruins responded quickly, scoring the go-ahead goal just 25 seconds later. Bergeron gave the puck to Boyes for a shot from inside the left circle. The puck was deflected and Sturm picked up the loose puck and backhanded his 19th of the season past Johnston for the 3-2 Boston lead.
"After they score, you certainly want to get it back," said Sturm. "Especially because it was a bad goal and it was on the power play. We tried to respond the best we could and it worked. I'm glad we were able to get the two points."
With just 3:20 left in the third period, Ovechkin went in on a breakaway against Thomas. Ovechkin made a move, but Thomas was up for the occasion again and stacked his pads to make the save and preserve the win.
The B's next play host to the New York Islanders on Saturday at the TD Banknorth Garden at 7:00 p.m. The multi-platinum Massachusetts-based band, Staind, will perform a special concert, presented by WAAF, immediately following the game. One ticket grants admission to both the Bruins game and the exclusive concert. A limited amount of tickets are still available and can be purchased online by clicking here
If you can't make it to the game to see the performance, you don't have to miss out. The Bruins will host a live webcast of Staind's post-game concert immediately after the game on BostonBruins.com.