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Bruins Notebook

Thomas’s back was covered

By Kevin Paul Dupont
Globe Staff / November 29, 2009

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The “W’’ Tim Thomas posted last night was worth 2 points in the standings, and maybe 16 ounces of flesh, too. The veteran backstop, playing for the first time in two weeks, was mad and disappointed that he let up Ottawa’s tying goal with 19.3 seconds remaining in regulation.

“Well, you can blame it on anything,’’ said Thomas, “but I don’t want to blame it on anything. It was my responsibility to stop it and I didn’t.’’

His coach, Claude Julien, also didn’t sugarcoat matters in his postgame news conference. His goalie should have been better, although he gave Thomas credit for battling back from a 2-0 deficit and hanging tough in the OT and shootout after allowing Milan Michalek’s tying goal at the end of regulation.

“He was good enough tonight to make a big save at the right time,’’ said Julien. “He gave up a bad goal, but I like the way he battled back in the shootout. He was determined to redeem himself.’’

Thomas went to the bench and told his teammates he let them down on the Michalek goal.’

“I told them before the shootout, especially,’’ he said. “I told them, ‘Help me bail this thing out’ . . . especially the guys that were going to shoot.’’

Hit parade
Boston’s hitting game has lost its spiritual leader with Milan Lucic sidelined, although it was not apparent last night. The Bruins held a huge advantage in the hit department, landing 35 smacks to Ottawa’s 17. Daniel Paille led the way with a game-high five. Every Bruin except Marc Savard, Matt Hunwick, and Patrice Bergeron had at least one hit.

Lucic landed 262 slams last season, tying him for fifth overall with Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke.

Quick draws
The Bruins had won two of every three faceoffs through two periods and finished the night having won 54 percent of the draws (27 of 50). Bergeron won 8 of 15 faceoffs last night, keeping him on the heels of Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby for the league lead.

Sid the Kid has won 331 to Bergeron’s 295. Crosby had a brilliant night at the dot against the Rangers last night, winning 15 of 20. Oh, he also had three goals and two assists in Pittsburgh’s 8-3 thrashing.

Getting the shaft
Add Devils forward David Clarkson to the growing list of players sent to the sideline for extended stays because of slap shot-related bone fractures (see: Savard).

Clarkson, here Friday, exited the New Jersey lineup only 57 seconds into his workday when he was felled by a steaming Chara slapper. The 25-year-old right winger sustained a non-displaced fracture above the right ankle and will be lost for upward of six weeks.

According to the Devils, he will not require surgery.

Earlier this month, Montreal forward Brian Gionta exited the lineup after a slap shot left him with a foot fracture.

NHL general managers, appropriately fixated now on blows to the head, will have to put some of their attention on these troublesome fractures, too.

The new-age, lightweight sticks have most of the rank-and-file shooting pucks harder and faster than back in the wooden stick era. Either the speed of the shots must be dialed down or skate boots and shinpads must be improved.

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