TAMPA BAY, Fla. --
When asked about his second career playoff shutout and the B's defensively focused 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Tim Thomas
said that it felt like a "normal game" for the Boston Bruins.
|Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) celebrates with teammate Thomas after a 2-0 win against Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final playoff series on Thursday, May 19, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) |
"That felt like the game we played most of the season," explained Thomas. "Playoffs are always faster and more energy and a few more scoring chances than a regular season game.
"But that was Boston Bruins hockey."
Thomas, who was often at his acrobatic best during a victory that gave the Bruins 2-1 edge in Round 3, gave serious credit to his teammates.
"Well, I'm kind of a product of the way the game goes in front of me," he said. "So I was able to play more under control tonight, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that we played the way that I'm used to.
"So I felt comfortable in a game like that."
And the Bruins feel comfortable with Thomas in net.
"Well we’ve said so much about Tim and rightfully so," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "He’s been a great goaltender.
"He made some big saves when he had to and he’s been good. I guess this is the way this team is, he’ll give credit to the people in front of him and I think it’s very deserving because our team did play well in front of him.
"But when they had some great opportunities he was also there to make the big saves."
Even when asked about a three shot sequence in the first period -- a sequence in which Thomas looked like a whirling dervish of Black & Gold pads -- Thomas passed along the kudos.
"They came in pretty fast, and I was moving when the first shot came, so I made the save. But as I was doing it, my momentum carried me towards the corner. And out of the corner of my eye, I saw [Vincent] Lecavalier was going to get the rebound. That's when I did the spin-o-rama.
"I spun around and got to the center of the net and fortunate to get a leg around it, and then actually, [Bergeron] was the one who made the save on St. Louis, so the third one didn't get to me."
"But it felt good," added Thomas. "It was important for us to keep the lead only a couple minutes after a lead score, and I think that helped our confidence as a team grow."