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Bruins Notebook: B's 2, Caps 0

by Tom Halkin / Boston Bruins
Tim was Terrific

Goaltender Tim Thomas collected his first shutout of the season and fifth of his NHL career.

“It was good to finally get one,” said Thomas. “There are no easy shutouts in the NHL – there are no easy games.”

The first period started out slow with the Capitals taking it to the Bruins early, earning a 7-2 shot advantage halfway through the first stanza. However, Thomas held his ground and kept the Caps off the board.

Tuukka took Notes
If you thought you recognized Bruins in the crowd -- you did. Tuukka Rask and Matt Hendricks took in the game.
Speaking of goaltenders caught up with promising Bruin netminder, Tuukka Rask, who was taking in the game with his fellow P-Bruin, Matt Hendricks, during the second period. True to the pair’s casual style they chose to take in the game with their fans in the loge seats, instead of joining the rest of the Boston Bruins suit squad in the press box. 

“It’s a lot less pressure,” Rask said of his new vantage point. “Just sit back have a Coke and enjoy the game.”

The biggest difference between taking in a game in his native Finland and in the States, says Tuukka, is the noise.

“It’s definitely louder here," he said.  "In Finland it is more like "sit-and-watch" and not cheer too much.”

Both players were having a blast watching the Boston Bruins play, but they still have their minds set on finishing off what is already a been stellar season down in Providence.

“We’re sitting at number one in the league right now, so you have to be happy,” said Hendricks. “But it’s not even halfway through the season yet and we have a lot of games ahead of us in a tough division.

"We are just going to take it one game at a time.”

Marc shows Savvy
Marc Savard made a great individual effort to put the B’s on top 1-0 and atone for a penalty he had just served.

Savard exited the box, tracked down a puck in the corner, made a nice give-and-go out of the corner with Glen Metropolit fired a shot that hit a leg, but gathered his own rebound and wristed it into a gapping net.

“He gave it to me, I gave it back to him, and he gave it a shot,” said Metropolit. “The rebound made it back to him. It was a big goal for us.”

Welcome to Boston, Shane
Shane Hnidy made his Bruins debut after a long day-and-a-half. Hnidy, who took a red-eye flight into Boston after learning of his trade, was in the in the line-up wearing #34 and played a total of 12:36 on Thursday night.

“You’ve got to give it up for a guy like that,” said Coach Julien referring to Hnidy’s hectic day.

“It’s good we won and got two points -- that’s what’s all about,” said Hnidy afterwards.

A stitch, even in stitches
Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic, left, sends Washington Capitals center Brooks Laich of Sweden flying as they collide in the third period of their hockey game in Boston, Thursday Jan. 3, 2008. The Bruins won 2-0. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Rookie Milan Lucic had an interesting night. He fought veteran defenseman John Erskine and then took a Mike Green high stick to the face in the third period.

The fan favorite received six stitches from the high stick and some nice praise from his teammates and coaches for his efforts (and troubles), not only for taking on Erskine, but also for returning to the game after being cut.

“(That's the) first time taking a high-stick since removing the face shield," said Lucic. "Hopefully it’s the last because I’m not looking too pretty right now.

"But what doesn't kills you only makes you stronger, right?”

Well, now what?
Early in the third period a puck jumped up into the Bruins bench and hit B's trainer Don Del Negro in the back of the head -- a scary moment for Boston since he is the guy who is usually fixing those types of injuries. Luckily he was fine and, being a lifelong Bruin, never left his post. Strong work Donny!

·    The Bruins added to their lead at the mid-way mark of the third period, with a Zdeno Chara 5-on-3 power-play goal.  The Caps Jeff Schultz accidentally ran over his own goalie, Olie Kolzig, leaving an open net for the captain to shoot at.
·    The Bruins D were also back to their old selves, keeping most of the Caps shots to the outside, and limiting Mr. Ovechkin to only four shots in his 23:27 of ice time.
·    Thomas made two stops on Caps breakaways that can only be described as brilliant.  One in the first period against Tomas Fleischmann, and the other in the second on noted pugilist Donald Brashear as part of the Tank's big 31 save night.
·    Chuck Kobasew missed a few shifts in the second period – don’t worry. He only needed a skate-sharpened.
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