The goal is to kill any of their momentum

Tim Thomas’ job is hard enough. The Vezina Trophy finalist knows that his play along with the Bruins’ defense will carry the team when its offense sputters. But now, even more than before, he realizes that his goal is not just simply to stop shots, but also the momentum of his opponents.

The Flyers’ Andrej Meszaros snuck a goal in the second period after the Bruins had just gone up 4-0 on Nathan Horton’s goal. And it’s exactly those kind of plays — when things are going well for the Bruins — that concerns the goalie.

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“I’m just trying to stop as many of them as I can and not let them get close,” Thomas said. “We know that they’re a dangerous team. Not only from last year. But there’s a reason they finished second in the division this year. They’re a team that’s not gonna quit.

“Every save that I make is one less opportunity for them to get any momentum.”

The same could be said for the series. After the Bruins went up 3-0 last year on the Flyers, they had an epic meltdown resulting in a painful Game 7 loss. They don’t even want to think about the possibility of another Flyers comeback. But the question just had to be asked.

“It’s a different year,” Thomas said. “It’s totally different.

“I am focused on this year,” Thomas continued. “I am focused on what we as a team want to accomplish this year and what I as a player want to accomplish this year. I will leave the comparisons to you guys.”

But to avoid last year, and erstwhile associations, Thomas and the Bruins will have to close out the series — and preferably soon.

“We learned last year that the fourth win is the hardest,” Thomas said. “We are playing one game at a time, one period at a time, and one shift at a time. We are going to try to play it the same way come Friday.”