Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff December 21, 2009 07:29 PM
In one of his sharpest performances of 2009-10, Tim Thomas stopped all 29 Ottawa shots to backstop the Bruins to a 2-0 victory. It was Thomas's fourth shutout and the Bruins' first win in the last five games.
"I just want to get to a point where I'm playing the way I know I can play," Thomas said. "I'm working at it. I'm building to get there. I'm not that far off. The difference between good and great is a small difference. Hopefully this is a step and I can build off this."
- Claude Julien's move of putting Steve Begin with Marc Savard and Marco Sturm paid off. Sturm switched to the right side, where Phil Kessel made things click alongside Savard last year. In the third, Sturm stretched out the Ottawa defense with his speed, and Savard hit his winger with a long-distance pass. "Oh man," said Savard, who recorded his first point in six games. "I haven't had a slump like that in a long time. Credit to my wingers tonight. I thought we had a decent game. I think the biggest thing for me was to start skating again. I kept my feet going tonight. We got rewarded."
- Vladimir Sobotka, taken off the ice prior to Patrice Bergeron's game-winning goal, finished the game. Sobotka was hit on his right thigh by a Zdeno Chara shot, which prompted Patrice Bergeron to center Shawn Thornton and Byron Bitz.
- Michael Ryder, taken off the No. 1 line, had a game-high five shots. Ryder had instant chemistry with David Krejci. Blake Wheeler, however, had zero shots.
STICK SALUTE: Chara. Gave the Senators nothing when he was on the ice. Made the first pass leading to Sturm's goal.
SIN BIN: Brian Elliott. Can't be giving up soft rebounds like the one leading to Bergeron's goal.
All done in Ottawa. Bruins, 2-0.
13:07 (3). Bruins, 2-0. Marco Sturm takes a long-distance pass from Marc Savard and beats Brian Elliott.
7:33 (3). Vladimir Sobotka is back on the ice.
5:13 (3). Brian Elliott turns aside Patrice Bergeron in front. Good feed by Daniel Paille.
3:19 (3). Bruins, 1-0. Brian Elliott leaves a fat rebound after a Shawn Thornton fling. Patrice Bergeron in place to knock home the puck.
2:55 (3). Vladimir Sobotka limping after taking a Zdeno Chara one-timer off the leg.
After 40 minutes, no score. Senators with a 23-22 shot advantage.
- This is the sharpest Tim Thomas has looked in a long time. Thomas is finding pucks well and getting good pieces of every puck. Controlling his rebounds very well.
- Not as good a period for Marc Savard and Co. Still, Marco Sturm looks more dangerous on the right side, even though he's a natural left wing.
- David Krejci and Michael Ryder have some chemistry. Blake Wheeler has to bring more.
18:30 (2). Peter Regin with an empty-net chance, but can't get the puck off his stick. Dennis Wideman with the giveaway to Erik Karlsson to trigger the chance.
17:56 (2). Mark Recchi blows a tire while trying to stay onside during Zdeno Chara rush.
11:36 (2). Heavy hitting between Adam McQuaid and Chris Kelly. McQuaid can bring the rough stuff.
7:35 (2). Byron Bitz with a close-range tap just over the net. Clever feed by Vladimir Sobotka from behind the net.
6:04 (2). Sneaky shot on goal by Daniel Alfredsson. Puck comes off Alfredsson's stick with some serious jump.
3:50 (2). Nothing getting through Tim Thomas tonight. Thomas looks sharp like he usually does against Ottawa (save the last home game).
2:28 (2). Good puck possession on the power play. Mark Recchi with a few decent tips.
After 20 minutes, no score. Bruins with a 12-11 shot advantage.
- Adam McQuaid has looked comfortable. McQuaid made a nice poke check to get the puck away from Jarkko Ruutu. The coaches have been reminding McQuaid that he has a good stick and he shouldn't be afraid to use it.
- Funny to watch Zdeno Chara, who had lost his stick, using Marco Sturm's twig. Chara was hunched over like a grandmother.
- Daniel Paille drew a tripping penalty on Erik Karlsson. But the play started when Dennis Wideman, under heavy pressure in his own zone, made a diagonal outlet pass to Paille's tape. Wideman is the team's best puck-mover and can create offense with his passing.
12:58 (1). Big-time save by Tim Thomas, coming out of his crease to foil Josh Hennessey in the slot.
12:12 (1). Johnny Boychuk is back on the bench. Boychuk went to the room after blocking a shot.
11:04 (1). Chance for Mike Fisher after an Alex Kovalev setup. Kovalev forced Dennis Wideman to lose his stick.
10:40 (1). Followup chance for Peter Regin after Alex Kovalev dangles through the defense. Two stops by Tim Thomas.
9:00 (1). Jarkko Ruutu strips Patrice Bergeron in the Bruins zone. Ruutu can't get a shot on goal.
5:12 (1). Two-on-one for David Krejci and Michael Ryder. Ryder shoots the puck wide.
3:05 (1). Slap shot on goal by Marc Savard. Haven't seen enough shots from No. 91 lately.
0:23 (1). Backhand chance in front for Marco Sturm. A little life already for Sturm and Marc Savard with Steve Begin.
Andy Wozniewski is the healthy scratch.