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Bruins Notebook

Thomas finds himself in jam

Goalie not happy with Dupuis play

Patrice Bergeron, no stranger to concussions, talks to Marc Savard as he is taken off after a brutal hit to the head. Patrice Bergeron, no stranger to concussions, talks to Marc Savard as he is taken off after a brutal hit to the head. (Keith Srakocic/Associated Press)
By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / March 8, 2010

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PITTSBURGH - In yesterday’s second period, Pascal Dupuis took a pass from Sidney Crosby, walked out front, then whacked, pushed, and jammed at the puck.

In response, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas slid to the post, jammed his left pad onto the ice, and did his best to keep the puck from crossing the goal line. Eventually, however, the force of Dupuis’s movements pushed the puck over the line at 8:57, tying the game at 1.

Thomas protested to Tim Peel, but the referee wasn’t buying his complaint.

“It’s frustrating for a goalie,’’ Thomas said. “To be realistic, they just let that go almost every time. It’s impossible to hold your leg against the post. The guy’s pushing you into the net. It’s ice. You slide. There’s no way to hold yourself.

“Just coming off the Olympics, you couldn’t do that at all. I saw at least one goal taken away because of that. The rule in the book is that you’re not allowed to push the goalie into the net with the puck. [Peel] was saying that I didn’t have the puck covered. So it doesn’t apply to that rule. So I said, ‘So it’s OK to push the goalie into the net if he doesn’t have the puck, then?’

“Looking at it, I knew they were going to let it go. But it’s frustrating as a goalie because you can’t really do any more.’’

Thomas (31 saves) saw more high-quality chances than Marc-Andre Fleury (21 saves). Pittsburgh’s No. 1 line of Crosby, Dupuis, and Chris Kunitz combined for 15 of the team’s 33 shots. As usual, the Pittsburgh defensemen also joined the rush. Early in the third period, Kris Letang rang a point slapper off the right post.

“They’re a dangerous team,’’ Thomas said. “They have a lot of offensive talent, obviously. They send their D up with the rush quite often. There was a number of things we had to look out for. We did a pretty good job.’’

A look back
Before yesterday, the last time Miroslav Satan had been in Mellon Arena was for Game 6 of last year’s Stanley Cup finals. That night, Satan was a healthy scratch in the Penguins’ 2-1 victory, which forced Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena.

“They got the lead, 2-0, and everybody thought it was over,’’ Satan recalled of the series in which the Red Wings claimed Games 1 and 2. “I remember that there was a strong feeling in the dressing room that we could still do it. It just proved that as a group, we knew we could do it and that it was possible.’’

Satan, tucked away in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at last year’s trade deadline, wasn’t even sure he’d be back for the playoffs. But general manager Ray Shero, who needed to clear cap space to add Bill Guerin to the roster at the deadline, was true to his word and brought Satan from the AHL for the postseason run. Satan dressed in 17 playoff matches - including Game 7 against Detroit when Petr Sykora was out with a broken foot - and scored one goal and had five assists.

“It’s a really nice thing to have on your résumé, to be a Stanley Cup champion,’’ Satan said. “I’d been in the league for 14, 15 years. I was close once in ’99 with Buffalo when we went to the finals and lost. I know how hard it is. Some guys don’t get a chance to win.’’

Yesterday, Satan skated with David Krejci for the second straight game. Satan and Krejci were on the ice for both Pittsburgh goals.

Rask improving
Tuukka Rask, shelved because of a knee injury, was one of three Bruins to skate yesterday morning. Coach Claude Julien said Rask is improving, but wasn’t ready to back up Thomas. Rask could dress against Toronto tomorrow. “I think he’ll be full-go starting [today],’’ Julien said. The Bruins have an offday practice in Etobicoke this afternoon . . . Vladimir Sobotka and Brad Marchand also skated yesterday morning. They were the healthy scratches for the second straight game . . . Patrice Bergeron won 13 of 18 faceoffs . . . Former Penguin Dany Sabourin, who backed up Thomas, spent an hour Saturday night catching up with Fleury, his goaltending partner last season. Sabourin was traded to Edmonton Jan. 17 in a package for Mathieu Garon. Fleury, Garon, and the Penguins went on to win the Cup, while Sabourin finished last year in Springfield. “With Crosby and [Evgeni] Malkin in their lineup, all those big players, they needed to win,’’ Sabourin said. “It was too bad for me that I was part of a trade. Unfortunately I didn’t win the Stanley Cup. But I think everything happened for a reason. It was for the best for me. It’s in the past. I can’t change anything. Right now I’m just glad to be in Boston. I want to make the most of it. Be happy and be a good player on and off the ice.’’ Once Rask is ready to return, Sabourin will be reassigned to Providence, where he’s gone 23-20-0 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. “Very young guys on defense and young players up front,’’ Sabourin said. “Young team with lots to learn. But they’re good players also.’’

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