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Thornton Talks the Talk, Walks the Walk

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins
BOSTON – “If I kept pace with (Ilya Kovalchuk) there is something wrong with this game,” said B's wing Shawn Thornton of his career high ninth goal scored during the B's 4-1 win over New Jersey.

Thornton, S. (15:39 in 1st)
The B's beat cop is never afraid to provide a memorable quote to fans and the media, and last night Thornton wasn’t afraid to stand in front on the New Jersey net as Dennis Seidenberg let a slapper rip from the right point.

Thornton’s presence in front of the net allowed Boston to tie the game at 1-1 in the first period, and after Seidenberg’s shot tipped off Thornton, gave the forward his ninth tally of the year in a 4-1 Boston victory. 

“We forecheck, [Milan Lucic] did a great job being strong on the puck, [Tomas] Kaberle over to [Dennis] Seidenberg and I just tried to get in front. Seider did a great job just getting it towards the net, and it went off me and in,” Thornton said of the goal.

The B’s victory came after two straight loses and a slow start to last night’s game for Boston. But it was clear by the way Thornton was charging down the ice, he had no intention of letting the Bruins lose a third straight.

“I think we just got our feet moving. D started taking the ice that was available and getting the puck in, and then we were able to get in on the forecheck,” Thornton said of the change in the B’s after the slow start.

“Our D did a good job after the first ten minutes of figuring out a way to get through that neutral zone and help our forwards get in on the puck.”

While Thornton’s goal tied the game and shifted the momentum Boston’s direction, the 33-year-old is quick to recognize his teammates for their performance in the game and throughout the entire season.

Thornton credited forward Nathan Horton with bringing the energy to the Bruins on a night where he knew the team was going to need it.

“He played with a lot of emotion. A lot of passion. It is good to see," Thornton said. “He tried to take it upon himself to create some emotion for the team. He has been a great player for us all year on different sides of the puck and that is one of them. So good for him.”

Two Bruins, Lucic and Zdeno Chara, reached millstones last night. Lucic scored his 30th goal of the season and Chara’s power play game-winner in the second period was his 400th NHL point.

“You could always see it. His shot has always been big,” said Thornton of Lucic. “He is a huge strong guy and he gets a little bit more room than other guys because he is so tough and so big and strong.”

While Thornton’s energy and drive helped Boston swing the momentum in last night’s game, he pointed to Chara's leadership of the Black & Gold throughout the entire season.

“He is definitely our captain. He is our leader. He leads by example and he is vocal when need be,” said Thornton.

“He is a presence out there all the time and he scored another big goal for us tonight. He has been doing that for us ever since I have been here and I feel very fortunate that he is on my team and not the other side.”

Chara and Lucic’s milestones garnered deserved attention following the game, but Thornton’s contributions weren’t overlooked.

With Thornton’s goal and the Bruins’ victory, Boston moves to 7-1 when Thornton scores.

“ I did not know that,” he said of the statistic.

“I suppose I have to score more, huh?”
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