Give the win to the Boston Bruins, as the home team breathed new life into the now 3-2 series with a 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes and rewarded goaltender Tim Thomas
with his first goose egg since April 4.
“We had the puck,” Thomas said. “We had the puck in their zone. We were composed and it was just, if you look at, I don’t even know if they keep time-of-possession in stats, but if they do that, you’ll definitely see a major difference in tonight’s game and the previous three games.”
The B’s outshot Carolina 40-19, with the first ’Canes official shot-on-goal happening more than halfway through the first period, making Thomas more concerned with finding flow than making saves.
“It can be [difficult to get into the flow], but I was playing the puck so I was in the feel of the game a little bit and, fortunately, I was able to make a nice glove save right off the bat and that helped settle me down,” he said.
But the rest of the first period would not be so much of a breeze, as Sergei Samsonov and Joni Pitkanen paired up for a would-be surefire goal, except for one thing: Thomas.
“They had the open net. That’s a typical Tim save,” head coach Claude Julien said after the game. “You’ve seen him many times, looks beat, and he just, second effort, and he makes the big save.
“That was, certainly, to me, a turning point in the game.”
And possibly a turning point for Thomas, who, despite being screened, made a sliding save to keep the ’Canes at zip, zero and zilch.
“I actually didn’t see too much of that shot that Samsonov took so that was sort of a positioning save and, you know, the rebound got kicked out and I saw Pitkanen coming in and I just was going to do anything I possibly could to save that thing, and it ended up working out.”
So now the gang heads down to Carolina to play for the same stakes in Game 6 on enemy ice.
“[The pressure’s] still on us to some extent, but hopefully we shoveled some of that pressure onto them, too and now we can share some of that pressure.”
And they must carry with them that same mentality – go big or go home (and this time ‘home’ isn’t quite so close).
“Hopefully [this win] can carry over, the emotion can carry over a lot,” he said. “It’s up to us, ultimately, to carry over that emotion, but the crowd certainly, I think, helped us tonight. Being home was a big advantage to us.”