BostonBruins.com – While Michael Ryder’s two goals gave him the ‘hero’ title in Boston’s 5-4 overtime victory against Montreal last night, the efforts of Bruin goaltender Tim Thomas can’t be overlooked.
|Boston Bruins' goaltender Tim Thomas keeps his eyes on the puck during the first period of Game 4 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal, Thursday, April 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes) |
Montreal laid 38 shots on Thomas, including 15 in each of the first two periods, and although he let four pucks slip past him, Thomas made key saves in key moments for the Bruins.
“He was huge for us tonight with his two goals," said Thomas of Ryder's goals. "It’s great to see.
“But moving forward here in the playoffs we needed everybody and we needed him, he’s essential to really help this team.
"So I hope he feels good about it, I feel good for him.”
The B's have needed Thomas throughout the season.
Thomas had an All-Star caliber campaign, and finished off the regular season schedule leading the league in goals against average (2.00) and his NHL best .938 save percentage set a league record.
Thomas played in 57 games for Boston throughout the regular season with a 36-11-9 record and throughout the 2010-11 schedule Thomas saw the Bruins make comebacks on multiple occasions.
As such, he held faith in his team’s ability to accomplish the feat again last night.
“A lot of times this year we did something similar to that. But every time you’re never sure if you’re going to be able to,” said Thomas.
“Montreal came out and they really took it to us for a good chunk of the first period and they came out and really took it to us for a good chunk of the second period. After that, I think we started to battle back into it and we kept plugging away.
“Really, it was pretty incredible that we won this game, we really needed to win this game,” he said.
With the win, the Bruins tied the series 2-2 and will head back to Boston for Saturday’s Game 5 with home-ice advantage back in tact.
Postgame, however, Thomas was soaking up the win with the stakes for Saturday’s game firmly cemented in the back of his mind.
“I’m just feeling good about this one right now,” Thomas said. "I haven’t really turned my mind over to think about Saturday yet.
“Put it this way, it would have been really tough for us to win this series if we didn’t win this game.
"Having said that, it’s 2-2 and there is a lot of work left. We have to keep doing it,” he said.