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Thomas Proves Strong in Shootout Win

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – After Thursday’s game with the Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said the bounces just weren’t going in his team’s favor.

Against the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday, Thomas made sure none of the bounces went the opponent’s way, either.

The B’s veteran goaltender made 27 saves, and he denied Danny Briere’s final shootout attempt to lift the Bruins to a 3-2 victory.

“We needed that immensely,” Thomas said. “We needed to show up and have a good game at home.

"Things haven’t been going our way – that’s a polite way of saying it lately. To battle tonight and come up with a good, solid strong game at home and pull out with two points, is hopefully very big for us moving down the road.”

The invigorating victory snapped a four-game losing streak, in which the Bruins were often behind the 8-ball early.

However, the Bruins (41-27-3) jumped out to an early lead of their own with goals from Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin in the first period.

Flyers forward Matt Read cut the deficit in half when he scored midway through the second period – and the goal could have tied the game had Thomas not made a spectacular save on a Jaromir Jagr breakaway earlier in the game.

Jagr charged out of the penalty box and took a pass from Flyers forward Claude Giroux, and Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk’s missed attempt at a poke check left the Flyers forward in the clear.

“He was great,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said of Thomas. “He was sharp, I thought his glove was really quick tonight. He’s always good, but I just though tonight was [more] noticeable.”

Jakub Voracek scored in the third period to tie the game 2-2 with 4:17 on the clock, but Thomas was resilient in the waning minutes – making a flurry of saves as time expired to send the game to overtime.

“I wasn’t sure of the clock exactly,” Thomas said. “I just didn’t want bad luck to strike again, and at that point we’re just playing for one point to make it to overtime. You don’t want a real good effort like that to go to waste. So, I was just focused on making it through the end.”

After seeing just two shots in the overtime period, Thomas was the center of attention in the penalty shot contest.

Thomas said his save on Jagr earlier in the game served as his blueprint for the shootout, but the plan fell through quickly as both teams exchanged goals on the first two attempts.

Bergeron’s nifty blocker-side goal put the Bruins ahead, and Thomas was able to thwart Briere’s attempt as the Flyers forward struggled to snap off a shot.

“I played Jagr a certain way on the breakaway during the game so my plan going into the shootout was to go out and play the other guys like that,” Thomas said. “But that didn’t work, but it was great to see ours keep going in.

“After the second one, I kind of changed up what I do and I came way out to Briere – I think I went all the way out to the hash marks to try and give him a different look. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it at all, or I could’ve played it differently, as long as you make the save at the end. But I think it discouraged him from shooting.”

--- Anthony Gulizia
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