Thomas had it all, save a win
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has been on top of his game this season, and last night it appeared he was poised to earn his 15th win, given how well he was holding off the Flyers at TD Garden.
However, with three seconds remaining in overtime, a miscue at the other end of the ice led to Mike Richards’s goal, sinking Boston’s chances of earning a second point as it fell to Philadelphia, 2-1.
The Bruins got caught deep after Marc Savard reversed the puck, sending a pass into open ice, and the Flyers went the other way. Richards raced into the right circle and snapped a shot past Thomas (14-2-3).
“It was three-on-one, they’d been passing instead of shooting all night,’’ said Thomas (31 saves). “I didn’t completely think he wasn’t going to shoot. I was trying to be ready for that, too. He just had so much time and then, when he did shoot, he got it off really quick. He didn’t give it away what he was going to do, he didn’t telegraph it.’’
The Bruins played well for a majority of the game, although they weren’t as opportunistic as they could have been.
“We did a real good job overall,’’ said Thomas. “We were right in that game. [Flyers goalie Brian] Boucher [35 saves] played pretty good, too.’’
When asked if he thought it was a shame that one team had to lose, given how well the game was played on both sides, Thomas smiled.
“It wouldn’t be a shame if they lost,’’ he said. “Now that we lost, it’s a shame, for sure. We went into tonight’s game hoping to get two points and finish off a really strong week, and we still had a pretty strong game. We at least got one point out of it.’’
The only other goal Thomas gave up came at 18:39 of the second period when former University of New Hampshire standout James van Riemsdyk scored on a one-timer to the glove side.
“The pass came across and I saw him shooting and [Bruins defenseman Dennis] Seidenberg went down to block the shot, and the way he was positioned in relationship to van Riemsdyk and the way I was positioned coming across, I lost the puck behind him,’’ said Thomas. “I think I’ve been told that van Riemsdyk kind of fanned on it. Not that it was a really soft shot, but it was a fan so I saw it and I knew it was going glove [side], but then I never got to see it again and it hit off my glove and went in.’’
The Bruins now head out on the road for a pair, against the Sabres and Canadiens. Boston is 9-3-1 away from home.
“Everything is a big series, [whether it’s] your division, or Philly who we played in the playoffs, or Washington, who’s one of the best teams in the league, or Atlanta, who is one of the hottest teams in the league,’’ said Thomas. “I think we should just show up ready to do business no matter who it is and not overemphasize who it is we’re playing at any one time. It doesn’t matter where we play, we just have to play the same game, whether we’re on the road or at home.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.