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Thomas, B’s blank Senators

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
By Jeremy Lemoine

Ottawa, ONT - Tim Thomas was perfect in the Boston goal as he turned aside all 44 shots he faced and helped the Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators 5-0 on Monday night. The shutout was the first of Thomas' NHL career and extended his record to 6-1-2 in nine straight starts. The Bruins had five different scorers in the game with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Nick Boynton, Marco Sturm, and Sergei Samsonov each notching one goal apiece. The win handed the Senators their worst home loss of the season and gave the B's their fifth straight road win.

"This is obviously a tough place to win," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan. "(Ottawa) is one of the best teams in the league, especially at home, and we knew we had a big challenge. I thought our guys competed very hard and the key in the first (period) was being able to get the lead. I think that allowed us to play the game we wanted to play."

The Bruins got on the scoreboard first. As Ottawa's Anton Volchenkov stepped out of the penalty box for hooking, Patrice Bergeron one-timed a quick feed from Brad Boyes at 15:15 of the first period to put the Bruins up 1-0. From the opposite corner, a Senators defenseman tried to send the puck around the boards and out of the zone, but Boyes picked it up and sent the puck in front to Bergeron for the score.

Later in the period, Marco Sturm sent an aerial pass to the front of the net where Boyes redirected it through Senators goaltender Ray Emery's legs for his 14th of the year and a 2-0 Bruins lead.

At 5:21 of the middle session, Nick Boynton put Boston up 3-0 with a shorthanded goal. P.J. Axelsson tipped the puck up to Boynton as he headed up ice. Boynton fired a wrist shot past Emery's glove hand from the top of the right circle for his fifth of the season.

Boston took a commanding 4-0 lead over the Senators at 9:17 of the second. Boyes returned the favor to Sturm and set him up for his 20th goal of the year. Boyes carried the puck into the Ottawa zone and hit Sturm with a pass as he raced to the net. Sturm made the easy tap in for his fourth career 20-goal season.

The B's went up 5-0 on a Sergei Samsonov tally at 13:42 of the second. Pat Leahy passed the puck up to Brian Leetch at the point. Leetch skated to the middle of the ice and backhanded a shot that Emery saved, but Samsonov was there and swept the rebound through the Ottawa netminder's legs for his 17th of the year.

In the third period, the Senators turned up the pressure and tried to mount a comeback. Thomas was flawless as he stopped 16 shots in the period and kept Ottawa off the scoreboard to preserve the 5-0 win and his first NHL shutout.

"The whole third period guys were taking the hit to get the puck deep and taking the hit to get the puck out of the zone," said Thomas. "They were sacrificing when at 5-0 they could say, ‘it's not worth it to my body,' and save if for next game. They worked hard and I appreciate it that the guys stuck their necks out for me."

The Bruins next play at home on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens in the first game of a home-and-home series.
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