PHILADELPHIA — Tim Thomas didn’t see a minute of ice time in last year’s second-round collapse against the Flyers. But tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, Thomas was everywhere, turning aside every shot that came his way to backstop his club to a much-needed 3-0 win and his fifth shutout. Milan Lucic scored an empty-net goal at 18:12 of the third.
In the second period, Thomas kept his team’s two-goal lead intact when he stared down Scott Hartnell’s penalty shot at 17:20. Hartnell was awarded the penalty shot after he had slipped behind Andrew Ference, forcing the defenseman to chop him down before he got a good shot on goal. On the penalty shot, Thomas calmly waited for Hartnell to make the first move. After failing to get Thomas to bite, Hartnell was forced to put a weak backhand on net that the goalie stopped with ease.
After allowing the opening goal in the last five games, the Bruins struck first last night. With Nikolai Zherdev serving a tripping penalty on Zdeno Chara, the Bruins kicked off the power play with David Krejci slipping a tight-quarters pass to Lucic. The left wing hurtled toward the net, dangled through Sean O’Donnell, and tapped a backhand on goal. Sergei Bobrovsky got his pad in front of Lucic’s shot, and O’Donnell found the loose puck in the crease. But O’Donnell’s clearing pass went to Patrice Bergeron in the high slot. Before Bobrovsky could recover, Bergeron winged the puck into the net at 5:40.
The Bruins doubled their lead after Mark Stuart sent a crisp two-line pass to Brad Marchand. In turn, Marchand gave the puck to Michael Ryder. The right wing faked a shot, then pulled a backhand pass around O’Donnell to a streaking Tyler Seguin. The rookie, who had shaken loose a backchecking Hartnell, went upstairs on Bobrovsky and tucked the puck under the crossbar at 15:12.
At 16:35, Philly tough guy Jody Shelley went looking for a fight. Shawn Thornton agreed, and the two engaged, with both fighters landing punches.
18:12 3d period: Bruins 3-0
Milan Lucic with the ENG. Strong play by David Krejci to steal the puck in the defensive zone and get it to Lucic. The big left wing gets rewarded for a much stronger night.
13:15 3d period: Bruins 2-0
Johnny Boychuk flattens James van Riemsdyk.
5:19 3d period: Bruins 2-0
Tim Thomas gets over to stuff Claude Giroux on the give-and-go.
1:40 3d period: Bruins 2-0
Nathan Horton hits iron after stripping Chris Pronger.
20:00 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Not as much offensive pressure by the Bruins in the second. Would like to see Nathan Horton start to earn his ice time instead of being given it.
18:35 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Tim Thomas explodes from right to left to stuff Andreas Nodl’s one-timer.
17:20 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Tim Thomas calmly outwaits Scott Hartnell, who’s forced to go with a weak backhand after the goalie never flinches during his approach.
17:20 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Penalty shot for Scott Hartnell. Slips behind Andrew Ference, who chops at the forward.
14:30 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Sergei Bobrovsky stones David Krejci on a point-blank chance.
10:27 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Tim Thomas holds his ground to stop a Jeff Carter redirect.
8:09 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Tim Thomas dives all-out to rob James van Riemsdyk.
6:38 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Couple good looks down low for Blake Wheeler. Don’t believe he’ll be odd man out when Marco Sturm is healthy.
20:00 1st period: Bruins 2-0
For once, the Bruins leave the ice pleased with their first period. Old friend Sean O’Donnell on the ice for both goals.
18:10 1st period: Bruins 2-0
Tripping on Dennis Seidenberg. Two strange regroups by the Flyers during the delayed penalty, going way back in the D zone to pick up speed.
16:35 1st period: Bruins 2-0
As expected, Jody Shelley itching for a scrap, and Shawn Thornton obliges. Both fighters get in their licks. Shelley with some big-time swings with the right hand.
15:12 1st period: Bruins 2-0
Beautiful pass by Michael Ryder to Tyler Seguin. Even better shot by Seguin to go over Sergei Bobrovsky and under the bar.
10:03 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Tim Thomas gets his glove on a Jeff Carter PP attempt.
8:04 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Milan Lucic drives Jody Shelley into the boards. Shelley woozy but OK. Lucic to the box.
5:40 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Patrice Bergeron whips a PP shot in. Milan Lucic starts the play by dangling through the Philly D. Sergei Bobrovsky gets a piece of Lucic’s backhand, but the clear goes right to Bergeron.
5:08 1st period: 0-0
David Krejci with a good shot on goal. Rare PP rush with speed through NZ.
4:17 1st period: 0-0
Scott Hartnell goes bowling on Tim Thomas. Nobody hurt.
0:30 1st period: 0-0
As usual, Bruins watch their opponents nearly rush them out of the building to start.
0:00 1st period: 0-0
Daniel Paille is the healthy scratch.