During Tuesday's media day preceding Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Tim Thomas
tried to dissuade reporters from billing the opening matchup between the Bruins and the Canucks as a goaltending duel.
"I’m pretty sure Roberto [Luongo] is not going to get many shots on me this series," he said. "So I’m going to be worried about the guys that are getting shots on me."
But Wednesday night's 1-0 loss for the Bruins was exactly that -- a goaltending duel.
Thomas and Luongo matched each other through all but the last 18.5 seconds before Raffi Torres finally beat the B's goaltender to stop a Tim Thomas
shutout streak snapped at 127:58.
The Vancouver goal was the first allowed by Thomas since Tampa Bay's Marty St. Louis scored at 10:15 of the third period of Game 6 of the Conference Finals.
"I thought we played a real good road game to be honest with you," said Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "And to be in the situation we’re in after two periods I didn’t mind it.
"Especially against this hockey club, I thought our PK did a great job against their power play. Timmy made the great saves when he had to and like I said, for two periods I was pretty pleased.
"But obviously the third period, they were the better team and they ended up scoring that goal."
"We’re not out there to say ‘Oh, we played a good game and battled.’ We’re out there to win." - Tim Thomas
After the game, Thomas, who made 33 saves, said the loss was hard to take.
"You know, 18 seconds to go, it kind of hurts," said the B's Vezina Trophy Candidate. "It’s a tough one
"It’s gonna be tough tonight, but we’ll forget about it.
"We’ve been in this situation before and we’ll get ready for the next game."
True, the B's have bounced back from plenty of losses, but none seemed so backbreaking as Game 1.
"A loss is a loss," said Thomas. "It really doesn’t matter what the score was at the end of the day
"Especially by the time Saturday comes around, it’s not going to matter that it was one to nothing."
But it mattered to Thomas' teammates.
"He played unbelievable," said defenseman Johnny Boychuk
, who was on the ice for the Vancouver goal. "You can’t say much more about Tim.
"He’s playing unbelievable, and we need him to play like that."
And the B's were also impressed with Luongo (36 saves).
"I think it was great," said forward David Krejci
of the goaltending battle. "Luongo’s great, so I expect it not to be high scoring games in this series, and that’s what happened today.
"But I, I kinda like our game. I think we play well defensively. That’s how you want to play on the road.
"Just a tough break at the end, we saw ourselves winning in overtime but it’s a tough break, it happens, you just move on."
With the win, Luongo notched his fourth career playoff shutout and his third shutout of this post-season and the third in four game ones of this post-season as he and the Canucks took a 2-0 win over Chicago in game one of their Conference Quarterfinal series and a 1-0 victory vs. Nashville in game one of their Conference Semifinal series.
In the aftermath, Thomas didn't want to hear about moral victories.
"We’ve been happy with the way that we’ve battled all playoffs," said Thomas. "But you know we’re not out there to say ‘Oh, we played a good game and battled.’
"We’re out there to win."