Tim Thomas, making his first start last night since Feb. 2, turned in one of his sharpest performances of the season to backstop the Bruins to a 3-2 shootout win over the second-to-last-place Maple Leafs.
Miroslav Satan scored in the shootout while Thomas stuffed Phil Kessel, Jamie Lundmark, and Tyler Bozak.
The Bruins held a 2-1 lead in the third period. But the Leafs wiped out the advantage when Bozak took a feed from Nikolai Kulemin and beat Thomas with a short-range shot at 6:12.
The Bruins snapped a 1-1 tie at 15:24 of the second period. After Marco Sturm won a battle in the offensive zone, Johnny Boychuk ended up with the puck at the right point. Boychuk wound up and hummed a slap shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
Earlier in the second, Thomas turned aside Kulemin’s breakaway after Dennis Wideman had coughed up the puck. On a previous power play, Thomas got some help from his net when Kessel one-timed a shot off iron.
The Bruins struck first at 9:36 of the first period. Shawn Thornton started the play by chasing down a puck along the left-side wall in the defensive zone. As Thornton went for the puck, Satan saw an opportunity and broke up the middle of the ice. Thornton dug the puck off the wall and backhanded a pass to an in-stride Satan, who gained the offensive zone. Satan let a wrister loose that sailed through the legs of Giguere, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins went on their second power play at 14:37 of the first when Dion Phaneuf was called for slashing. But seven seconds into the power play, Sturm was sent off for hooking. During four-on-four play, Francois Beauchemin sprung Viktor Stalberg with a cross-ice pass through the neutral zone. Stalberg raced past Dennis Wideman and took a sharp-angle shot that beat Thomas over the blocker at 15:27, tying the game at 1-1.
In the final minute of the first, Kessel picked off a Blake Wheeler pass and raced off for a breakaway. Kessel faked forehand and went to his backhand, but Thomas stuck out his right pad to stuff his former teammate.
The Bruins had an early goal wiped out when video replay concluded that Michael Ryder had kicked a puck into the net at 1:03 of the first.
All done at the Garden. Bruins in the shootout, 3-2. Miroslav Satan with the goal and Tim Thomas stopping all three shots.
5:00 OT: 2-2
Shootout time. Tim Thomas steals the Bruins at least one point. As skittish as the defense has been in a long time.
4:40 OT: 2-2
David Krejci gives up the puck to Phil Kessel. Tim Thomas stands tall.
1:40 OT: 2-2
Matt Hunwick gives up the puck to Nikolai Kulemin. Tim Thomas with the kick stop. Toxic pairing tonight.
20:00 3d period: 2-2
Bruins gain one precious point. Not exactly 60 minutes of stellar hockey.
14:23 3d period: 2-2
Yet another breakway for the Leafs on Dennis Wideman and Matt Hunwick. Puck goes wide.
8:33 3d period: 2-2
Inexplicably, Marc Savard can’t bang home an empty-net goal after a Michael Ryder shot.
6:12 3d period: 2-2
Tyler Bozak with the close-range tap-in of a Nikolai Kulemin feed. Johnny Boychuk nowhere in sight in front of the net. Yet another third-period lead blown.
3:58 3d period: Bruins 2-1
Steve Begin flattens Wayne Primeau, then has to answer to Colton Orr. Shawn Thornton thinks about stepping in, but Begin fights his own battle and pushes Orr to the ice.
2:35 3d period: Bruins 2-1
Tim Thomas kicks out a Fredrik Sjostrom chance in front.
20:00 2d period: Bruins 2-1
Bruins have given up far too many third-period leads this year. We’ll see if they can hang on this time.
19:20 2d period: Bruins 2-1
Milan Lucic to the room.
15:24 2d period: Bruins 2-1
Johnny Boychuk lets a slapper loose from the right point that beats J-S Giguere.
12:15 2d period: 1-1
Milan Lucic comes off the bench and hits iron.
8:17 2d period: 1-1
Tim Thomas bails out turnover machine Dennis Wideman by stopping Nikolai Kulemin’s breakaway. Wideman to the box.
2:57 2d period: 1-1
Phil Kessel one-times a shot off the post.
2:47 2d period: 1-1
Matt Hunwick off for tripping.
0:00 2d period: 1-1
Milan Lucic is on the ice to start the second.
20:00 1st period: 1-1
And thus ends one of the sloppier first periods we’ve seen at TD Garden.
19:10 1st period: 1-1
Tim Thomas stones Phil Kessel’s partial break. Horrible giveaway by Blake Wheeler.
15:27 1st period: 1-1
Viktor Stalberg goes in with speed and beats Tim Thomas over the blocker.
14:44 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Hooking on Marco Sturm. There goes the PP.
14:37 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Slashing on Dion Phaneuf. Second PP for the Bruins.
13:46 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Shawn Thornton vs. Wayne Primeau. Short bout, with Primeau losing an edge.
13:45 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Milan Lucic vs. Colton Orr off the draw. Both get in their licks, but Lucic heads to the room after the fight.
11:10 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Dennis Seidenberg flings a backhander into the crowd. First PP for the Leafs. Welcome to Boston.
9:36 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Miroslav Satan takes an in-stride pass from Shawn Thornton and flings a wrister through Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s wickets. Good work by Thornton to dig the puck off the wall and backhand the pass to Satan. Bad work by Giguere.
7:15 1st period: 0-0
Dennis Seidenberg on PP1.
6:03 1st period: 0-0
Holding on Viktor Stalberg. First PP for the Bruins.
2:00 1st period: 0-0
Johnny Boychuk with the Derek Morris-like shot pass to Vladimir Sobotka. J-S Giguere gets a piece of the puck.
1:03 1st period: 0-0
No goal. Video review rules that Michael Ryder kicked in a Steve Begin pass.
0:00 1st period: 0-0
Andrew Ference is out with a groin injury.