looks even better than he did two years ago when he was the NHL's best goaltender.
Thomas improve to 5-0-0 this season by stopping 20 shots for his second shutout, leading the Boston Bruins to a 2-0 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
Patrice Bergeron and rookie Tyler Seguin provided the offense and Thomas did the rest, becoming the first Boston goaltender since Tiny Thompson in 1937-38 to start a season with a 5-0-0 record. He lowered his goals-against average to 0.60. Boston has allowed a League-low 11 goals in seven games.
"I feel good. It's fun to play right now," said Thomas, who won the Vezina Trophy in 2008-09 but lost the starting job to Tuukka Rask while battling injuries last season. "It was easier to focus on a shutout because we couldn't afford to give up a goal and let them back in."
Six of Thomas' saves came on shots by former Bruin Phil Kessel, who was dealt to Boston for what turned out to be the No. 2 pick in last June's Entry Draft -- the one the Bruins' used to select Seguin.
Kessel is now scoreless in seven games against his former club. He was booed virtually every time he touched the puck -- and when Seguin scored, with Kessel on the ice, the sellout crowd broke of 17,565 into a chant of "Thank you, Kessel!"
"He must be doing something right if they're doing that," Seguin said. "I like to say I hope I'll get booed in an arena. But hopefully it won't be Boston."
Seguin got more good news after the game when coach Claude Julien told him he won't be sent back to juniors -- the team had the option to return him after nine games without burning a year on his entry-level contract.
"I just found out," Seguin said in the hallway after Julien spoke to reporters.
The "Thanks you, Kessel" chant was repeated when Seguin broke in alone on Jonas Gustavsson with 7 minutes left in the third period but missed when he was slashed from behind. Fans wanted a penalty shot, but they soon returned to razzing Kessel.
"I could care less. Doesn't matter to me one bit," Kessel said of the greeting he receives each time he comes to Boston. "I just couldn't bury my chances. What can you do?"
Kessel, who was third in the NHL with seven goals, has just one assist in seven games against Boston since being traded away in 2009. Since then, Toronto has lost four straight games in Boston.
Bergeron put the Bruins on top at 19:19 of the opening period when he one-timed Zdeno Chara's pass behind Jonas Gustavsson for a power-play goal. But Seguin brought down the house at 12:26 of the second when he picked up a pass from Dennis Seidenberg and drilled it into the net off Gustavsson for his second of the season and first at TD Garden.
Gustavsson stopped 30 shots but got no help from an offense that has scored just seven goals in its last five games.
"Their goalie made some good saves," captain Dion Phaneuf said. "He was hot. We threw everything at him we could."
Before the game, the Bruins honored former captain, coach and GM Milt Schmidt. He received miniature replicas of the two Stanley Cups he won as a player, then told the crowd, "The spoked 'B' is practically my family crest. And I wouldn't have it any other way." He then lifted a banner commemorating his already-retired No. 15 to the rafters of TD Garden.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report